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Full text of "History of Parke and Vermillion Counties, Indiana : with historical sketches of representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the old families"

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3 1833 02300 2782 I 977.201 


REYNOLD^ ;; ■■ '-AL I 1222026 




Parke and Vermillion Counties 

With Historical Sketches of Representative Citizens and 
Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families 






This Work is respectfully dedicated to 


long since departed. May the memory of those who laid down their burdens 

by the wayside ever be fragrant as the breath of summer 

flowers, for their toils and sacrifices have made 

Parke and Vermillion counties a garden 

of sunshine and delights. 


All life and achievement is evolution; present wisdom comes from past 
experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from past exer- 
tion and suffering. THe deeds and motives of the men who ha\e gone before 
have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of later communities and 
states. The development of a new country was at once a task and a privi- 
lege. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the pres- 
ent conditions of the people of Parke and VermilHon counties, Indiana, with 
what they were one hundred years ago. From a trackless wilderness and 
virgin land, it has come to be a center of prosperity and civilization, with mil- 
lions of wealth, systems of railways, grand educational institutions, splendid 
industries and immense agricultural and mineral productions. Can any think- 
ing person be insensible to the fascination of the study which discloses the 
aspirations and efforts of the early pioneers who so strongly laid the founda- 
tion upon which has been reared the magnificent prosperity of later days? 
To perpetuate the story of these people and to trace and record the social, 
political and industrial progress of the community from its first inception 
is the function of the local historian. A sincere purpose to preserve facts 
and personal memoirs that are deserving of perpetuation, and which unite 
the present to the past, is the motive of the present publication. The work 
has been in the hands of able writers, who have, after much patient study 
and research, produced here the most complete biographical memoirs of 
Parke and Vermillion counties e\-er offered to tlie public. A specially valuable 
and interesting department is that devoted to the sketches of representative 
citizens of this county whose records deserve preservation because of their 
worth, effort and accomplishment. The publishers desire to extend their 
thanks to the gentlemen who have so faithfully labored to this end. Thanks 
are also due to the citizens of Parke and ^^ermillion counties for the uniform 
kindness with which they have regarded this undertaking and for their many 
services rendered in the gaining of necessary information. 

In placing the "History of Parke and Vermillion Counties. Indiana." 
before the citizens, the publishers can conscientiously claim that they 
have carried out the plan as outHned in the prospectus. Every biographi- 
cal sketch in the work has been submitted to the party interested, for correc- 
tion, and therefore any error of fact, if there be any, is solely due to the 
person for whom the sketch was prepared. Confident that our efforts to 
please will fully meet the approbation of the public, we are. 






Father iMiirquette— The Illinois IikUiius— Vo.vjise of Joliet— Feniiimlo de 8oto 
.•md His Cavjiliers — Settlement of SlJauish in Florichi— Retraeiii,i; of the Steps 
of Early Explorers — Readies Wisconsin — The Portage — Jleeting of the In- 
dians — Kaskaskia Discovered— La Salle's Explorations — Father Hennepin— 
Bnildinj; of Fort Miamis— Termination of War with England— The Northwest 
Territory — Act of Congress Making a Division Inelnding Indiana. .M.iy 7. 1780. 


The Various Indian Tribes — Delawares — Pottawatomies— .Miamis— De.scription 
of Tribes .and tlie Country — A Transformation — Geology of Parke County — 
Harrison's Trail. 


An Earl.v-day Description of the County — Concerning the First Settler— Set- 
tlement of Jame.s Dot.v — Those Who Came in 1S22— I^.iter Settlements— New 
Discovery — Character of the Pioneers. 


Act of Organization of the County — Count.v-scat Locating Committee — Rivalry 
for Seat of Ju.stice — Temporary County Seats — County Go\ernment — Agents 
Sell Town Lots — Various Court Houses and .Tails— Erection of Present County 
Buildings — Contents of Box in Corner-stone — Finances — Assessed Valuation 
by Townships — The Asylum for the Poor — Early Court Indictments. 


State Representatives— Clerks — Sheriffs— Recorders — Auditors— Treasurers- 
Coroners — Assessors — Surveyors — Judges — Common Pleas .Tndges— Probate 
Judges — Pre,sent Bar of Parke County — Court Officers in 1012. 


Causes of the Civil War — Lincoln's First Call for Jlen— First Enrollment .it 
Rockville — List of All Companies and Regiments from Parke County — Hundred- 
day Men and Veterans— Cavalry — Artillery— Infantry — McCune Cadets — Na- 
tional Guard — An Old Jlexican War Soldier— The War with Spain. 


Protestant and Catholic Elements in Pioneer Day.s— Baptists — Presbyterians — 
United Presbyterians — Christian Churclies — The Jlethodist Episcopal Denom- 
ination — African Methodist Episcopal — Lorenzo Dow at Rockville — United 
Brethren— Lutherans— Roman Catholic— Society of Friends- -Hicksites—T'ni- 



Masonic Order — Independent Order of Odd Fellows— Paushters of Reliekah — 
Knights of Pythias— Grand Army of the Republic. 


First and Later Newspapers — The Whig Party Organs — "Olive Branch," a 
Noted Publication — History of the "Tribune" and the "Republican" of Today — 
Democratic and Independent Papers — Present Newspapers of the County. 


Cases Prior to the Civil War — Liberty Township Crimes — The Celebrated Beau- 
champ Case— Killing of Nillis Hart at Montezuma — Killing of Mrs. Vollmer of 
Rockville — Killing of Oscar P. Lill — Terrible Deed by Insane Man — Sheriff Mull, 
With His Deputy and Others Killed. 


Democrats and Whigs Pitted Against Each Other — Trouble Over the Canal — 
The National Road Difficulty — Hard Times Come on— Election Returns- 
Presidential Votes Since Lincoln. 



Products of County a Third of a Century Ago — Coal Mined — Turnpike and 
Gravel Roads — Agricultural Societies at Montezuma, Rockville, Bridgeton and 


Local Railroad History — Present Railroad Mileage in Parke County — Coal Min- 
ing — Early Mines — Present Operations and Output — Accidents — Prices — Com- 
l)anies Operating— Banking History of Parke County — B,-\uk Building and Old 
National Hall — Its Burning and the New Building— Present Banks— Village 
Plats— Population of County — Witness Trees — Records Burned — Legal Execu- 
tions — Taxation List of 1S33— Soldier,*' Reunion — JIarket Quotations— Days of 
Public Mourning in Parke County. 


Establishment by Legislative Act — Location and Legislative Commission — 
Buildings — Mode of Treatment — Results. 


Donation of Lands to County— First Settlers on Plat — Wallace Ray, the Pioneer 
Hotel Keeper and Postmaster — Saw-mills .md Factories — Pottery — Woolen 
Mills — Destructive Fires — Poor Fire-tighting Apparatus — Opera Houses — Incor- 
poration of Town — Water Works and Lighting Plant— A'olunteer Fire Comiiany 
—Industries— Advent of the Colored People — Cemetery-. 


Early Settlers — Early Hardships — A Noteworthy Incident — Development .-md 
Present Condition of the Township — Assessed Valn.Mtiou — Poiuilation in I'.tlo. 


Location— Old Canal — Population— Valuation at Present— Name of Township- 
Early Settlers — Villages— Roseville — Num;i— Clinton Lock— Itosedale— .lessup — 
West Athertou — Coxville. 



Location and Topograi)h,y — Railroads — Population— Valuation of I'miPfity— In- 
dian Days and Wild Game — Early Settlement— Jlills— Villages of I'.iikville— 
Liquor Stills. 


Boundaries — Topography — Naming of Townsliip — Early Settlenieiil — IMoncer 
Milling — Present Conditions — Population of tlie Township. 


Nauiing of Township — Geography and Topography — First Settlers — Early Sur- 
veyors—First Births— .Vssosscd Valuation— Population— Vi I iMges—Manstield— 


Location — Streams — Population — Assessed Valuation — Pioneer Settlers — Rela- 
tions with the Indians — Old Tanyard — First Teaclier — I'Jarly Prices— Pioneer 
Church — Early Saw-mill — Old Grave-yard — Indian Remains— Villages — Lodi- 
ville — Old Westport — Sylvania — Tangier. 


Size and Location — Assessed Valuation — Population — Soil and Products — Gravel 
Roads— The Quakers — First Pioneers — Villages — Annapolis — Bloouiingda le 
(Bloomfield) — The Academy — Early Industries — Cloth-making — Prices for 
Spinning and Weaving — The Old Fulling Mill — First Saw-mill and Grist-mill — 
A Pioneer Foundry — The Old Cast Plows— Flat-boat Building. 


Name — Boundary — Large Farms — Fine Timber-land — Population — Assessed Val- 
uation — Early Settlement — Indians — Farm Implements Used by the Pioneers- 
Deer Plentiful- Flat-boat Building- First Schools— Death— First Wed- 
ding — Towns and Milages — Montezuma — Colma — Canal and Railroad Days — 
Population — ^Assessed Valuation — Railroad Shops — Old Flouring Mill — Business 
Interests of 1912 — Corporation History— Water and Light Plants. 


Big and Little Raccoon as Known to Indians — Great Forests — Reclaimed Lands 
— Early Settlement — Milling — Villages— Catlin—Bridgeton — Diamond - Early 
Corn Crackers and Mills — Milk Sickness — Population — Assessed Valuation. 


Area — Streams^-Assessed Valuation — Population — First Settlement — Jlilling In- 
terests — First Meeting-house — Public Roads — Russell Postoffice — Killing of Old 
Johnnie Green, the Indian Chief. 


Boundaries — Streams — Resources — The Natural Bridgi-— I'oi'ulation — I'roperty 
Valuations — The Pioneers — Indian Trail— Drunkenness Among the Indians — 
Pioneer Martin — Land Entries — Steam and Water .Milling — Bellemore — New 
Discovery — North and Southampton — Hollaudsburg — Public Roads — Cemeteries. 


Location — Boundary — Topography — First Mills — Early Settlers and Later Pio- 
neers — Mecca Saw-mill — Population — Assessed ValuVition— li'irst Sehrx")! House 
— Flat-boat Building — "Never-built" Railroads— Present Railroads — Wabasb & 
Erie Canal. 



Population — Vnluations — First Settlers — Roaring Oreeli Settlement — First Or- 
chards — Schools — Presbyterian Church — The ''Almighty's Bnll-ilog"— First 
Deaths — Roseville Mills — Xyesville — Judson — Lodges. 



Significance of Xame— Geograiihical Sitnatiun— Th(> Beautiful Wabash ana 
Other Streams— Geological Formal ion— Soil. Streams. Springs— Mineral Wealtli 
— Concerning the Forests — Clays of the County. 


The Slonnil Builders — Implements and Relics Found — Burying Grounds — Find- 
ing of Skeletons — Indian Occupancy of Count.v — The Mianiis. Kidvapoos. Potta- 
wntomies — French Missionaries — First Trading Posts — The Brouillets — Joseph 
Collett. Sr. — General Harrison's JIarch to Tippecanoe — Murder of Sc-See]) — 
Jlilitary .Tournal. 


John A^annest and William Bales— Xarrow Escape from Death of Mrs, \'annest 
— Great Slaughter of Wild Animals. 


Size and Boundary— Original Organization — Acts Creating the County — County 
Government — Transcript of Early Records — First Jury — Court Houses and Jails 
— Present County Buildings — County Asylum for the Poor — Robbery of the 
County Treasur.v — Assessed Valuation by Precincts — Funds — Recei]its and Dis- 


Sheriffs — Recorders — Clerks — Treasurers — Auditors — Surveyors — Coroners — As- 
sociate Judges — Probate Judges. 


Its Part in the Civil War— Some of the Causes of the War— Firing on Fort Sum- 
ter — Address by Captain Owen — History of the Regiments and Companies fr(nn 
Vermillion County — Bounties and Relief Funds. 


Territorial Provisions for Education — .\ct of 1816 — Donations of Lands for 
Schools and Universities — School Houses a Quarter of a Centucy Ago — First 
Schools and School Houses— Educational -Vdvanceinent — Present Standing of 
Schools — ^Teachers, Wages and Apportionments by Townships in 1912 — School 
Enumeration — Consolidated Schools. 


Presbyterian — United Brethren — Methodist Ei)iscopal — Baptists — Society of 
Friends— Universalists^-Roman Catholics— Christians— United Brethren Union 
— ^African Methodist Episcopal. 


Free niul Accepted Jlnsons — Independent Order of Odd Fellows— Knights of 


Paragraplis Concerning the Earlier and Present Jlemliers of the Vei-niillion 
County Bar— Attorneys of 1912. 


Pioneer Medical Practice — First Physicians to Locate Here — County Medical 
Societies, Past and Present — A Blind Physician — Doctor Keyes. 


First and Subsequent Pai)ers — The News-Letter, Hoosier State. Argus. Cliuton- 
ian, Times, Dana Xew.s — The Old Olive Branch— The Press, Past and Present, 
at Cayuga — Perrysville Banner — Quotations from Early Newspapers. 


First Banking House in the County — Subsequent Bank.s — Present Banks of the 
County, with Some Statements. 


Early Freighting — Boating— Canals — Steamboating on the Wabash, Ohio and 
Mississippi — The Clinton Wharf — Railroads of Vermillion County, Past and 
Present — Old Xarrow Gauge Line — Electric Line — Present Mileage in County, 
by Townships — Public Gravel Roads. 


Early-day Implements — Crops — Agricultural Resources of the County — Farm 
Statistics — Land Prices— Old-time Farm Machinery — Fruit Crops — Agricultural 


Its Beginning and Development — Coal-bearing Counties of Indiana — Production 
— Wages — State Mining Reports — Market Prices for Coal — A Review of the, 
Industry — Distribution of the Product — Vermillion County Mines and Companies 
— Thickness of Seam and Depth from Surface — Fatal Accident — iliners and 
Appliances — Men Employed — Powder T^sed — Bunsen Coal Co. and the T'niversal 
Jlines — A Three-Mill ion-Dollar Plant — Description of Mines and Buildings. 


Old Whig Party — Borrowing a Cannon — Incidents Relating to the Civil-war 
Period — Presidential Vote for a Half Century — Market Quotations— Comparison 
with a Bushel of Wheat — Tariff Hints — Original Village Plats— Cemeteries- 
Population — County Societies — Temperance Organizations — PostotHees — Postal 
Savings Banks — Large Damage Suits— Powder Jlill Explosions— Destruction by 
Dynamiters — .V Brutal Outrage — ifourning for Presidents. 


Name — Platting and First Development — Population Statistics — Industries — 
Postofflces — Churches and Lodges — Municipal History — Fire Department— 
AVater Works — Electric Light — Board of Education— Present City Officials — 
Items of Interest — Prospecting for Natural Gas. 



The County Seat— First Buildings and Stores— Incorporation— Tlio Old Mill— 
Postoffice— Saloon Troubles— Population— The Great Tile \\orks— "Womnn's 
Crusade" — Business Interests in 1912. 


Name— First Settler— Other Pioneers — General Features- Mininj:- Schools and 
Churches — Area and Population. 


Boundary and Location — ^Area and Population — A'aluation — A Mound Discov- 
ery — Rare Exhibition of Animal Nature — Early Settlement — Towns and Villages 
— First Newspaper in the County — Cayuga — Eugene — Railroad.s — Cayuga Mills 
— Grand Army of the Republic— Good Templars— Incorporation— Postoffice Safe 
Blowm Open — Electric Lighting — Present Business Interests — Collett's Home for 


Geographical Situation — Area and Population — Assessed Valuation — Pioneer 
Settlement — First School — Old Davis Ferry — Famous Fox Hunts — Rural De- 
velopment — Gravel Highways — Modern Farm Improvements — Parcel Post — 
Towns and Villages— Toronto — Jonestown (St. Bernice) — Hillsdale — Highland 
— Summit Grove — Dana — Situation — First Buildings — Incorporation. 


Location — Boundaries — Population — Area — Assessed Valuation — Early Settlers 
— Perrysville— Village of Gessie — Rileysburg. 


Situation — Name — Population — Valuation of Property — Area — Pioneer Settle- 
ment — Sketch of Hon. O. P. Davis— A Long-lost Daughter— Quaker Hill Settle- 




Adams Township 172 

AfriCiin JI. E. Church 102 

Agi-ieultural Societies 143 

Agriculture 142 

Annaiiolis lf»6 

Army Ford 52 

Assessed V.iluation 65 

Assessors, County 70 

Associate Judges 70 

Auditors. County 00 

Awful Experience 173 


Banlvlng in Parke County 149 

Baptist Churches SS 

Bar of Parlve County 71 

Bellemore 218 

Bloomfield 196 

Bloomingdale 196 

P.loomingdale Academy 139 

Bridgeton 211 

Broolcs. Capt. Andrew 55 


Catholic Churches 105 

Catlin 211 

Cemetery, Rockville 169 

Christian Churches 95 

Churches 87 

Circuit Judges 70 

Civic Societies 111 

Civil War Days .. 73 

Clerks. County 67 

Clinton Lock 179 

Coal Mining Operations 147 

Coloma 207 

Colored People, Rockville 171 

Common Pleas Judges 71 

Coroners 69 

Counties. Foriiiation of 44 

County Assessors 70 

County Auditors 69 

County Clerks 67 

County Examiners 138 

County Funds 64 

County Government 61 

County Officials 67 

County Organization 60 

County Recorders 68 

County Superintendents 138 

County Surveyors 70 

County Treasurers 69 

Court House, First 61 

Court Houses 62 

Coxville 180 

Criminal Cases 123 

Cro])s .nid Weather 144 


Daughters of Rebekah 116 

Days of Mourning 156 

De Soto, Fernando 27 

Diamond 212 

Early County Seats 61 

Early Indiana History 25 

Early Law Breakers 66 

Early Teacher.s' Qualificntions 137 

Educatiou in Parke County 135 

Educational Statistics 140 

Eighty-fifth Regiment 81 


Election Returns 133 

EleveutU Cavalry 82 

Enlistments for War 73 

Examiners, County 138 


Farm Inii)lements. Early : 202 

Karni Productions 142 

Farm Values 143 

Finances of Parke County .- 64 

Fires in liockville 167 

First Court House 61 

First Jail 61 

First Schools 135 

First White Settler 55 

Florida Township 176 

Formation of Counties 44 

Forty-third Regiment 77 

Fourteenth Regiment 74 

Free and Accepted Masons 111 

French Possession 43 

Friends' Bloomingdale Academy 139 

Friends' Church 106 


Garfield's Death 157 

Gen. Harrison Trail 52 

(reology of Parke County 53 

Grand Army of the Republic 117 

Grant Memorial Services 15S 

Greene Township ISl 

Guion 184 


Harrison Trail 52 

Hennepin, Louis 37 

Hi<_>ksite Quakers 108 

H6bbs, Barnabas C. 137 

HoUandsburg 210 

Howard 194 

Howard Township 185 

Hundred-day Men 83 


Jiiiplcnieuts, F;irly 202 

Important Criminal Cases 123 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows.— 114 
Indian Days 182 

Indian Ofcupancy 46 

Indians, Removal of 44 

Industries of Rockville 170 

Insane JIan's Deed 128 


Jackson Township 187 

Jail, the First 61 

Jessup 180 

Johnay Green Killed 214 

Judges 1 70 

Judson 225 


Killing of Johmiy Green 214 

Knights of Pythias 116 


La Salle:s Explorations 35,37 

r>aw Breakers 66 

Lawyers of Parke County 71 

Legal Executions 155 

Lena 190 

Liberty Township 191 

Lighting Plant, Rockville 169 

Lorenzo Dow 103 

Lost in the Forest 173 

Lutheran Cluirolies 105 


McCune Cadets 86 

McKinley's Death 157 


Mansfield 189 

-Market (Motations 156 

Marquette, Father 25 

Masonic Order 111 

Mecca 222 

Alethodist Episcopal Churches 97 

Military History 72 

Mills of Greene Township 183 

Mine Production 142 

Mines and Mining 142 

Miscellaneous Items 146 

Montezuma 204 


ir.iiUKl Builders 46 

Muiiieipal History. Rocliville 168 


Newspapers of Parke County lit) 

Xiutli Batteiy 78 

Nunia 179 

Nyesvillp 225 


Odd Fellows 114 

Official Roster 67 

Oriranization of County 60 


Parke County Agricultural Society— 143 

Parke County Asylum 65 

Parke County Finances 64 

Parke County Geology 5.3 

Parke County Lawyers 71 

Parke County Scliools 135 

Parke County Seminary 140 

Parkeville 184 

Penn Guards 76 

Penn Township 195 

Pioneer Settlement 54 

Political History 130 

Poor Asylum 66 

Population Statistics 154 

Postoffice, Rockvine 16S 

Presbyterian Cburches 90 

Present Banks 151 

Present Court House 63 

Present Methodist Churches 104 

Prices, Past and Present 156 

Probate Judges 71 

Pythian Order 116 


Raccoon Township 208 

Railroads 146 

Rebekah Degree 116 

Recorders, County 68 

Records Burned 155 

Religious Societies 87 

Removal of Indians 44 

Representatives 67 

Reserve Township 201 

UockviHe 164 

Rockville Tribune 120 

Roman Catholic Churches 106 

Rose. Chauncey .55 

Roseville 178 


School Consolidations 130 

School Statistics 140 

Schools of Parke County 135 

Se<:'ond Court House 62 

Settlement of Parke County .54 

Settler. First White 55 

Seventy-eighth Regiment SO 

Sheriffs 68 

Society of Friends 106 

Soldiers" Reunion • 156 

State Representatives 67 

State Tuberculosis Hospital 160 

Sugar Creek Township 213 

Superintendents of Schools 138 

Surveyors. County 70 

Sylvania 194 


Tangier 194 

Taxation List of 1833 155 

The Press 119 

Treasurers. Coimty 69 

Tribune. Rockville 120 

Tuberculosis Hospital 160 

Twenty-first Regiment 75 


Union Township 216 

United Brethren Churches 105 

United Presbyterian Churches 94 

Universalists 110 


Valuations 65 

Vill.-ige Plats 152 


W.ihash Riflemen 75 

Wabash Township 220 Questions 72 


^YMsluu.:;ton T.jwuship 22^ 

WMtei- Works. Roekville 10!i 

Watenu.-in 193 

West Atbei-tou ISO 

Westpoi-t 194 

Willi (l.-ime 182 

Witness Trees 155 


Yoiinj; Peojile's Rending Circle 13S 


A Soulier's Diiir.v 2.S3 

Afre;ise of Fnrms 344 

A.sricnltural Interest.? 343 

Agricnlturjil Societies 346 

Assessed Vuluiitions 259 

Associate Judges - 2G7 

Asylum for the Poor 257 

Attorneys of the County .°,12 

Auditors of County 265 


Bankiug l 3.32 

Baptist Churches 295 

Bar of A'erniillion County .312 

Blind Physician .322 

Bounties 2S2 

Bronillets 240 

P.nit.-il Ontrage .309 

('Mtlidlic Cliurclu's .304 

Cayuga . 401 

Cemeteries .364 

Christian Churches 306 

Church in War Days .303 

Churches 293, .3.S1. 401 

Circuit-rider. Early 302 

City of Clinton 376 

Cla.vs of the County 233 

Clerks of County 263 

Clinton .376 

Clinton Township .39(1 

Coal Mining Industry .34.S 

Coal Prices .3.50 

Collett Home for Orphans 402 

Couuuissioners. First County 2.52 

CdiiMnissioners' Records 2.52 


Comparative Prices 


Count.v .\nditors 

County Clerks 

County Commissioners. First 2.52 

County Finances 2.59 

County Funds 259 

Count.v Government 249 

County Officials 262 

County Recorders 263 

County Seat Located 2.51 

County Societies 365 

Count.v Surveyors 265 

County Treasurers 264 

County Trea.snry Robbed 258 

Court Houses 255 

Crops 344 

Dana 414 

Daughters of Rebekah 310 

Days of Mourning 370 

Iteath of President Garlield 371 

Death of President McKinle.v 372 

Diary of Oen. Tipton 244 

Doctors 31S 

D.vuaniiters 36S 

Educational History 289 

Eighteenth Regiment 276 

Right>-tifth Regiment 280 

Election Returns 358 

El.'ctri,- Line 340 

Enumer.ition, School 292 

Eugene. Town of 400 

Eugene Township 394 

Explosion. Powder Mill .. 367 


Fairvlew Park 393 

Farm Statistics 344 

Fifty Years Ago 358 

Finances of County 259 

First County Commissioners 252 

First Grand Jury 253 

First Petit Jury 254 

First Scliools 291 

First White Settlement 246 

Forests 231 

Forty-tliird Regiment 277 

Fourteeutli Regiment 274 

Fox Hunts 410 

Fraternal Societies 307 

Free and Accepted Masons 307 

Friends 303 


Geology 228 

Gessie 422 

Gravel Roads 341 


Harrison's March 241 

Helt Township 405 

Highland 414 

Highland Township 417 

Hillsdale 413 


Independent Order of Odd Fellows___ 300 

Indian Occupancy 238 

Indian Races 235 

Indiana Furnace 355 

Industries of Clinton 379 

Iron Industry 355 

Iron Ore 231 


Jails 255 

Jonestown 412 

Judges. Associate 267 

Judges. Probate 267 

Jurors. First Grand 253 


Knights of P.vthias .311 

Knights of the Golden Circle 272 


Last and Largest Mines 353 

I/aw.vers 312 

Legislative Act 249 

Lincoln's Assassination .370 

Lodges 381, 401 

Long-lost Daughter 427 

M . 

Market Quotations 361 

Masonic Order 307 

Medical Societies 324 

Methodist Episcopal Churches 298 

Alilitary History 268 

Mines 348 

Mining Wages 350 

Miscellaneous Topics .355 

Mound Builders 235 


Narrow Gauge Railroad 340 

Natural Features 227 

Natural Gas 385 

Newport .386 

Newspapers 325 


Odd Fellows 309 

Officials of County 262 

Old Indiana Furnace 3.55 

Old-time Circuit Rider 302 

One Hundred Twenty -ninth Regiment 281 

Organization of County 249 

Orphans' Home, The Collett 402 


I'crr.vsville 420 

Petit Jury. First 254 

Ph.vsicians of County .318 

Pl.its, Original Village 362 

Political Incidents 357 

Poor Farm 257 


Populatiou Statistics 304 

Postoffices 366 

Poverty aud Happiness 373 

Powder Mill Explosion 367 

Pre-liistoi-ic Races 235 

Presbyterian Churches 293 

Prices, Comparative 361 

Prices for Coal 350 

Probate Judges 267 


Qual^er Hill 428 

Qualiers 303 


Railroad Mileage 341 

Railroads 337 

Rebeliah Degree 310 

Recorders of County 263 

Regulators 270 

Robbery of County Treasury 258 

Roman Catholic Churches 304 


St. Beruiee 412 

School Enumeration 292 

School Statistics, 1887 290 

School Statistics, 1912 292 

Schools, First 291 

Se-Seep, Chief 242 

Settlement, First White 246 

Seventy-flrst Regiment 279 

Sheriffs 262 

Sixteenth Regiment 275 

Sixth Cavalry 279 

Slaughter of Wild Animals 248 

Society of Friends 303 

Streams 227 

Summit Grove 414 

Surveyors of County 265 


Temperance Organization 366 

Thirty-first Regiment 277 

Timber 231 

Tipton, Gen. John 243 

Toronto 412 

Transportation Facilities 336 

Treachery 272 

Treasurers of County 264 


"Uncle Tom's Cabin" 269 

United Brethren Churches 296 

United Brethren Union Churches __- 306 
Universiilists 304 


Valuations 259 

Vei-million County Attorneys 312 

Vermillion County Physicians 318 

Vermillion Township 423 

Village Plats .362 


War Funds 282 

Water Power 232 



James W 645 

Adams, Joseph D 709 

Adams, Lewis E 678 

Adamson, Henry 515 

Aikman. Barton S.. Hon 434 

Aikman, Homer B 63S 

Allbrlght, Henry 674 

Allen, R. A 757 

Amis, Joseph W._r 458 

Andrews, Darwin , 546 

Arthur, James N 556 

Ashley, Charles W., Jr 510 

Ashmore. James 706 

Aye. Albert 619 


Bales, Harry 782 

Ball. Charles F 595 

Beeler, Frank H., M. D 447 

Bennett, Charles 662 

Benson, Alonzo O 537 

Bingham. Thomas 646 

Bishop, Lucius O 448 

Blake, William P 623 

Bowsher, William A 524 

Brannon, Charles 668 

Briggs, Guy H 754 

Brockway, Allan T 483 

Brown, John D 769 

Brown, William F 712 

Bryant, Guy 686 

Burks, John D 789 

Burnett, James F 552 

Butcher. Rev. A. C 750 


Carpenter. B. O 800 

Carter. M. B 748 

Case. Marvin H 736 

Casebeer, I. M., JI. D 643 

Catlin, Samuel T 487 

Chaney, Ernest 669 

Chaney, James A 649 

Chaney, Omer 658 

Chapman, Ewing : 497 

Chesterfield, Oscar 612 

Church. Richard F 543 

Clark, Albert L 794 

Coble. Samuel 672 

Cole, Jacob S 620 

Collings, William B 689 

Conley, Hugh H 734 

Cooper, Charles R 747 

f^ox, William, Sr 752 

Cox, William N 628 

Cristy. Frank P 560 


Daniels. Joseph J 507 

Davis, Bird H 544 

Davis, Holbert 809 

Davis, Jacob G 549 

Davis, Samuel B 512 

Delp, Juel A 699 

Devonald, William 561 

Dickenson, G. E 799 

Drake. Leonldas 565 

Dugger, James G 557 

Durr. Sebastian 681 


Elder. James E 443 

•^ller. James H 783 

Evans, Dr. E. M 697 


Ferguson, Arthur 601 

Ferguson, Henry 569 

."^ergu^on, James 605 


Finnegan, G. L S04 

Finney, R. J 766 

Fisher, J. A 651 

Frantz, Joseph L 599 

Frazer, Allen 755, 

Frist. .Jasper N 580 

Fiiltz, Charles N 624 


Garwood. .Judge A S05 

Gates, F, M (521 

Glllum, William B 525 

Gillum, William H., M. D 498 

Gilmore, John W 540 

Goodin, William 618 

Gregg, Fred Alfred 562 

Gregory, tJames 600 

Gregory, Thomas 802 

Griffin, Fred 664 

Griffin, G. W SU 

Griffin. J. G 812 

Griffiths, D. VV 803 

Grubb, Henry 502 

Guinn, Robert E 753 


Haddon, Jesse E 551 

Hall, Melvin L., M. D 741 

Hall, S. J 729 

Hargrave. Arthur A 504 

Harrison, Edgar R 786 

Harrison, Robert 758 

Harrison, Roy C 598 

Harshbarger, John E 670 

HatHeld, G. W 773 

Hathaway, Elberson 715 

Hayes, William L 571 

Heaton, J. R 655 

Henderson, Harold A 516 

Henderson, John 732 

Hess. Asa A 550 

Hobson, Ira 700 

Hosford, Charles 792 

Hosford, Monroe G 587 

Hughes, Ralph V 79S 

Humphries, L. B 589 

Hunt, Elwood 518 

Huxford, A. J 466 

Huxford, Perry 781 

Huxford, Voorhees 660 


Jacks, George \\^ 676 

Jacobs. Herman H 657 

James, James D 793 

■Jardine, William 718 

Jeffries, Steiihen H 532 

Jenks, Stephen 713 

.Johns, J. .M 576 

Johnson, Daniel C 508 

Johnson, Frank R 635 

Johnson, William A., M. D 615 

Johnston, James T 476 

Johnston, William, Jr 810 

Jones. Edward 555 


Kearns, F. M 807 

Kerr, James H 538 

Kessler, M. V 814 

Keyes, Otis M.. il. D 602 


Lake, Israel 787 

Laney. George L 640 

Lang, Benjamin F 717 

Lanning, William 693 

Laverty, Aquilla 530 

Leavitt, H. B 772 

Lindley, S. G 702 

Linebarger, George H 631 

Linebarger, John A 456 

Linebarger, Levi J 634 

Livengood, Charles A 692 

Lockridge, A. B., M. D 492 

Lowe. Harry L 705 

Lowlor, C. M 806 

Lyday, Mark W 578 


McCaman, E. F 728. 

McCormack, E. G 720 

McCutchan, B. M 764 

McDonald, Thomas L ' 582 

.McElroy. Stephen C 610 

McFaddin, Jolin S 520 

.Mc.Mulleu, D. B 65S 



:\I;inion. Sylvester Til 

.Alark. J. H 711 

Harks. George E .534 

Martin, T. C 763 

JIaxwell, Howard 490 

Maxwell, W. H 690 

Meyers, Charles H 545 

Miller, C. F 795 

Miller, Dick S13 

Miller, Joliu R .536 

Miller, John R. Mc 719 

Mitchell, Frederick A 609 

Montgomery. Hugh 533 

Jlontgomery, John H 656 

Moore, Harry 654 

Morgan, Brown H 574 

Moi'gan, Harmon K 572 

Morris. C. C, M. D 4S5 

Myers. J. H 677 

Myers, Quincy A 462 

Myers. William C, M. D 604 


Xeal. M. Hudson 703 

Nebeker. ilark E 511 

Neel, E. E 647 

Nelson, Thomas H 591 

Newlin, Ira S15 

Newton, John R 665 

Nichols. Prank H 461 

Nichols, Maj. Jonathan M 464 

Nixon, Robert H 452 

Nurnberger, Albert 666 


Overpeck. C. W., M. D '489 

Overpeck, Isaac M 680 

Overpeck, Leonidas E 650 


Paine, James 581 

Paine, John R 584 

Parke County Times 528 

Payne. Harrison T 445 

Peer, William F 722 

Pence, Peter 485 

Phillips, Parke 691 

Phinney, Walter G 759 

Pickaril. Isatc A 4J3 

Pickard, John S mi 

Pierce, Jesse W 768 

Pike, Stephen A 500 

Pitman, Bennie E 568 

Poiter, Worth W 632 

Pritchett, Grover C, M. D 607 

Puett, .lames W 682 

Puett, S. F. Max 473 

Puett. Samuel D 474 

Puett, Thomas B 684 

Puffer. Morgan 707 

Puntenney, John G 608 


Redman. John W 554 

Reed, Charles S 606 

Reed, James S 765 

Reeder, Valzah 749 

Renick, Charles D 593 

Riggs, William 626 

Richards. Harry J 808 

Robbins, S. M 791 

Roberts. Phillip A 779 

Rohm, E. H. C 774 

Rohm, George W 778 

Rudy, Milo J 541 

Rusing, R. J 679 

Russell, Jesse H 725 

Rutter. J. Carl 704 

Salmon, George H 661 

Satterlee. Willis A 575 

Scott, Matthew M 745 

Seybold, John N 596 

Seybold, Percy 688 

Seybold, William P 586 

Shannon, Walter B 636 

Sherrill. B. ,-— 738 

Sherrill, C. L 528 

Sherrill, F. L 528 

Shew, Henry 784 

Shirkie. James 570 

Simpson. J. T 744 

Skeeters, Homer J 439 

Skidmore, J. F 740 

Snow, James M 659 


Soules, Alonzo 6S7 

Spellman, E. H._l 733 

Spencer, Frank 724 

Spencer, George W., Jr 450 

Spencer. John H 467 

Staats. Samuel 723 

Stark, Alfred H 454 

Stark, John 472 

Stephens, Edgar R 627 

Stewart, Lee Roy , 7S0 

Stone, Clarence 590 

Stone, Robert I 639 

Stoner, Lycurgus T 685 

Strain, Joseph W 441 

Strong. Daniel S., il. D 54S 

Stroiise, Isaac R 480 

Sniltz. (ienrge W. 503 

Stuthard, George B 471 

Sunkel, George D 614 

Swope, Raymond E., M. D 484 


Taylor, Green T 622 

Taylor, James A 663 

Thomas. Charles B 671 

Thomas. Clay E 785 

Thompson, Dee 698 

Thomson, William M 479 

Times, Parke County 528 

Tolin, John A 727 

Tucker, W. N 797 

Tutwiler, James P 585 

Tyre, James 652 

Vansickle. Ross 716 


Walker, Charles P 696 

Walker, Fred 667 

Walter, John 558 

Watson, Henry 630 

Wait, William C 469 

Walters, John 559 

Welch, Elmer T 613 

Welch, John A., .M. D 616 

Welch. Patrick 721 

Wheat. Albert 694 

White, Hon. Ared F 429 

White, Isaac D., M. D 761 

White, Ren M ^ 762 

White, William J 776 

Whittington, James M 523 

Williams, Daniel C 529 

Williams, David 675 

Winter, C. A . 743 

Wood. Fred 790 

Wright, Dana P 367 




What is now known as the state of Indiana was originally discovered 
and hence claimed as the possession of France by that government. It was 
Joliet, a Frenchman of great experience as a navigator and discoverer, who 
was accompanied by that illustrious Catholic, Father Marquette, who first set 
the world in possession of the facts concerning the great Mississippi river 
and its wide, rich vallej^ Marquette had learned much concerning this 
stream through the Indians whom he was seeking, in the northern country, 
to convert to Christianity. In a letter written by Marquette from his mis- 
sion to his reverend superior, he wrote : 

"While the Illinois (tribe) came to this point they pass a great river 
which is almost a league in width. It flows from north to south and to so 
great a distance that the Illinois, who know nothing of the use of a canoe, 
have never yet heard tell of its mouth : they only know that there are great 
nations below them, some of whom, dwelling to the east-southeast of their 
country, gather their Indian corn twice a year. A nation that they call 
Chaounan fShawneese) came to ^isit them during the past summer; the 
young man that has been given me to teach me the language has seen them ; 
they were loaded with glass beads, which shows that they have communica- 
tion w'ith the Europeans. They had to journey across the land for more 
than thirty days before arriving at their country. It is hardly probable that 
this great river discharges itself into the ocean from A'irginia. We are more 
inclined to think that it has its mouth in California. If the savages, who 
have promised to make me a canoe, do not fail in their word, we will navi- 
gate this river as far as possible with a Frenchman and this }-oung man that 
they have given me, who understands several languages and possesses great 
facility for acquiring others. We shall visit these nations who dwell along 
its shores to open the way of our fathers who for a long time have awaited 


this happiness. This discovery \^■ill gi\-e us a perfect knowledge of the sea, 
either to the south or west." 

This knowledge came to the ears of the French authorities at Quebec, 
and indeed over in Paris, and naturally enough stimulated further inquiry. 
There were three theories as to where the Mississippi river finally emptied 
its waters : One that it was discharged into the Atlantic ocean, south of the 
British colony of Virginia; second, that it flowed into the gulf of Mexico; 
and third, which was the most popular theory, that it was emptied into the 
Red Sea, as the Gulf of California was called, and if the latter, that it would 
afford a passage to China. To solve this important problem in the world's 
commerce, it was determined, as appears from a letter from the governor, at 
Quebec, to M. Colbert, minister of the French na\'y at Paris, expedient "for 
service to send Sieur Joliet to the country of the Mascoutines, to discover 
the South Sea and the great river — they call the Mississippi — which is sup- 
posed to discharge itself into the Sea of California." 

Father Marquette was chosen to accompany Joliet on account of the 
information he had already gained from the various Indians he had met, as 
he wrote Father Dablon, his superior, when informed by the latter that he 
was to be Joliet' s companion, "I am ready to go on your order to seek new 
nations toward the South Sea, and teach them of our great God whom they 
hitherto have not known." 

Before proceeding with a description of the wonderful history of this 
voyage of Joliet and Marquette, it will be well to note that Spain had a prior 
right over France to the Mississippi valley by virtue of previous discovery. 
As early as 1525, Cortez had conquered Mexico, portioned out its rich mines 
among his favorites and reduced the inoffensive inhabitants to the worst of 
slavery, making them till the ground and toil in the mines for their unfeel- 
ing masters. A few years following the conquest of Mexico, the Spaniards, 
under Pamphilus de Narvaez, in 1528, undertook the conquest and coloniza- 
tion of Florida and the entire northeast coast-line of the gulf. After long 
and futile wanderings in the interior, his party returned to the sea coast and 
endeavored to reach Tampico, in wretched boats. Nearly all perished by 
disease, storm and famine. The survivors, with one Cabeza de Vaca at their 
head, drifted to an island near the present state of Mississippi, from which, 
after four years of slavery, De Vaca, with four companions, escaped to the 
mainland and started westward, going clear across the continent to the Gulf 
of California. The natives took them for supernatural beings. They as- 
sumed the guise of jugglers, and the Indian tribes through which they passed 
invested them with a tribe of medicine men, and their lives were thus guarded 


with a superstitious awe. They are, perhaps, the first Europeans who ever 
went overland from the Atlantic to the Pacific. They must have crossed the 
Great River (Mississippi) somewhere on their route, remaining "in history, 
in a distant twilight, as the first Europeans known to have set foot on the 
banks of the Mississippi river." 

It was in 1539 when Hernando De Soto, with a party of cavaliers, mostly 
the sons of titled nobility, landed with their horses upon the coast of Florida. 
During that and the following four years these daring adventurers wandered 
through the wilderness, traveling through portions of Florida, Carolina, 
Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, crossing the Mississippi river, it is sup- 
posed, at some point within the present state of Mississippi. Crossing the 
great river, they pressed their way onward to the base of the Rocky moun- 
tains, vainly searching for the gold so marvelously described by De Vaca. 
De Soto's party endured hardships that would depress the stoutest hearts, 
while, with sword and fire, they perpetrated atrocities upon the Indian 
tribes through which they passed, burning their villages and inflicting cruel- 
ties which make us blush for the wickedness of men claiming to be Chris- 
tians. De Soto died in May or June, 1542, on the banks of the Mississippi, 
below the mouth of the Washita, and his immediate attendants concealed 
hi.= death from the others and secretly, in the night, buried his body in the 
middle of the stream. The remnant of his survivors went westward and then 
returned back again to the river, passing the winter upon its banks. The 
following spring they went down the river, in seven boats which they had 
rudely constructed out of such scanty material and with the few tools they 
could command. In these boats, after three months' voyage, they arrived at 
the Spanish town of Panuco, on the river of that name in Mexico. 

Later, in 1565, Spain, failing in previous attempts, effected a lodg- 
ment in Florida, and for the protection of her colony built the old fort at 
St. Augustine, whose ancient ruins still stand out boldly today, as showing 
where the first settlement was effected in this country. It also stands as a 
monument over the graves of the hundreds of nati\ es there killed, after serv- 
ing in bondage, by their Spanish conquerors. These unfortunates had aided 
in the construction of the massive walls of masonry, converted into dun- 
geons, dark and gloomy, and in which they finalh^ perished. 

While Spain retained her hold on Mexico and enlarged her possessions 
and continued, with feebler efforts, to keep possession of the Floridas, she 
took no measure to establish settlements along the Mississippi, or to avail 
herself of the advantage that might have resulted from its discovery. The 
Mississippi river excited no further notice after De Soto's time. For the next 


century it remained a sealed mysterj- until the French, approaching from the 
north by way of the Great Lakes, explored it in its entire length and brought 
to public view the vast extent and wonderful fertility of its valleys. 

Retracing our steps to the notes made in the carefully kept journal of 
Father Marquette, who, with Joliet, descended the Mississippi, it mav first 
be stated that Joliet and :Marciuette's voyage made one of the most thrilling 
and romantic chapters in the history of the country, especially to those inter- 
ested in the original of things connected with the states of Illinois and In- 
diana. The following is extracted from Marquette's journal: 

"Tiie day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, whom I 
had always in\'oked, since I have been in the Ottawa country, to obtain of 
God the grace to be able to visit the nations on the river Mississippi, was in- 
cidentally that on which M. Jollyet arrived with orders to the Comte de 
Frontenac, our governor, and \L Talon, our intendant, to make the discov- 
ery with me. I was the more enraptured at this good news, as I saw my 
designs on the point of being accomplished, and myself in the happy neces- 
sity of exposing my life for the salvation of all these nations, and particu- 
larly f(ir tlie Illinois, who had, when 1 was at Lapointe du Esprit, very ear- 
nestly entreated me to carry the word of God to their country. 

"We were not long in preparing our outfit, altliough we were embarking 
on a voyage the duration of which we could not foresee. Indian corn, 
with some dried meats, was our whole stock of provisions. With this we 
set out in two bark canoes, M. Jollyet, myself and fi\'e men, firmly resolved 
to do all, and suffer all for so glorious an enterprise. 

"It was on May 17, 1763, that we started from the mission of St. Igna- 
tius, at Michilimakinac, where I then was. 

"Our jov at being chosen for this expedition roused our courage and 
sweetened our labors of rowing from morning till night. As we were going 
to seek unknown countries, we took all possible precautions that, if our 
enterprise- was hazardous, it should not be foolhardy; for this reason we 
gathered all possible knowledge from the Indians who had frequented these 
parts, and even from their accounts traced a map of all the new country, 
marking down the rivers on which we were to sail, the names of the nations 
and places through which we were to pass, the course of the Great River, and 
what direction we should take when we got to it. 

"Above all, I put our voyage under the protection of the Blessed Virgin 
Immaculate, promising her that, if she did us grace to discover the Great 
River, I would give it the name of the Conception, and that I would also 
give that name to the first mission I should establish among the new nations, 
as I have actuallv done among the Illinois." 


After some clays they reached an Indian ^•illage, and Marciuette's diary 
continues : "Here we are, then, at the Maskoutens. This word, in Algon- 
quin, may mean 'fire nation,' and that is the name given by them. This is the 
limit of the discoveries made by the French, for they ha\e not vet passed 
beyond it. The town is made up of three nations gathered here, Aliamis, 
Maskoutens and Kickabous. [This ^■illage was near the mouth of Wolfe 
ri\-er. which empties into Winnebago lake, \\"isconsin. | _\s bark for cabins 
in this region is scarce, they use rushes, which serve them for walls and 
roofs, I)ut which allord them no protection against the wind, and still less 
against the rain when it falls in torrents. The advantages of this kind of 
cabins is that they can roll them up and carry, them easily where they like in 
hunting time. 

"I felt no little pleasure in beholding the position of the town. The 
view is beautiful and picturesque, for, from the eminence on which it is 
perched, the eye discovers on e\'ery side prairies spreading away beyond its 
reach, interspersed with thickets or groves of trees. The soil is very good, 
producing much corn. The Indians gather also large quantities of plums 
and grapes from which good wine could be made if they choose. 

"No sooner had we arrived than M. Jollyet and I assembled the Sa- 
chems. He told them we were sent by our governor to discover new coun- 
tries, and I, by the Almighty, to illumine them with light of the gospel; that 
the so\'ereign Master of our lives wished to be known to all nations, and 
that to obey his will I did not fear death, to which I exposed myself in such 
dangerous voyages : that we needed two guides to put us on our wa}- : these, 
making them a present, we begged them to grant to us. This they did very 
civilly, and even proceeded to speak to us by a present, which was a mat to 
serve us on our voyage. 

"The next day, which was the tenth of June, two Miamis whom they 
had given us as guides, embarked with us in the sight of a great crowd, who 
could not wonder enough to see se\-en Frenchmen, alone in two canoes, dare 
to undertake so hazardous an expedition. 

"We knew that there was, three leagues from .Maskoutens, a river 
emptying into the Mississippi. \\'e knew, too, that the point of the compass 
we were to hold to reach it was the west-southwest, but the way is so cut up 
with marshes and little lakes that it is easy to go astra}-, especially as the river 
leading to it is so covered with wild oats that you can hardly discover the 
channel; hence we had need of two guides, who led us safely to portage of 
twenty-seven hundred paces and helped us transport our canoes to enter the 
river, after which they returned, leaving" us alone in an unknown countr\- in 
the hands of Providence." 


This portage has given us the name of Portage City, at which location 
it was. and is situated in \\'isconsin, where the upper waters of Fox river, 
emptying into Green bay, approach the \Visconsin river, which, coming" from 
the northwest, here changes its course to the southwest. The distance across 
this neck is a mile and a half, o\er the beautiful prairie above described by 

Marquette's journal continues: "We now leave the waters which flow 
to Quebec, a distance of about five hundred leagues, to follow those which 
will henceforth lead us into strange lands. 

"Our route was southwest, and after sailing about thirty leagues we 
perceived a place which had all the appearances of an iron mine, and in fact 
one of our party who had seen some before averred that the one we had 
found was very rich and very good. After forty leagues on this same route 
we reached the mouth of the river, and finding ourselves at forty-two one-half 
north, we safely enter the Mississippi on the 17th of June with a joy I can- 
not express. 

"Having descended as far as forty-one degrees and twenty-eight min- 
utes, in the same direction, we find that turkeys have taken the place of 
game, and pisikious [buffalo] or wild cattle that of other beasts. 

".\.t last, on the 25th of June, we perceived foot-prints of men. by the 
water sides, and a beaten path leading to some Indian village, and we re- 
solved to go and reconnoiter ; we accordingly left our two canoes in charge 
of our people, cautioning them to beware of a surprise: then M. Jollyet and 
I undertook the rather hazardous discovery for two men, single and alone, 
who thus put themselves at the mercy of an unknown and barbarous people. 
We followed the little path in silence and going about two leagues we dis- 
covered a village on the banks of the river, and two others on the hill a league 
from the former. Then, indeed, we recommended ourselves to God with all 
our hearts, and having implored his help we passed on undiscovered, and 
came so near that we even heard the Indians talking. We then deemed it 
time to announce ourselves, as we did by a cry which we raised with all our 
strength, and then halted without advancing any farther. At this cry the 
Indians rushed out of their cabins, and having probably recognized us as 
French, especially seeing a black gown, or at least having no reason to dis- 
trust us, seeing we were but two and had made known our coming, they 
deputed four old men to come and speak to us. Two carried tobacco pipes 
well adorned and trimmed with many kinds of feathers. They marched 
slowly, lifting their pipes toward the sun, as if offering them to it to smoke, 
but yet without uttering a single word. They were a long time coming the 


little way from the village to us. Having reached us at last they stopped 
to consider us attentively. 

"I now took courage, seeing these ceremonies, which are used by them 
only with friends, and still more on seeing them covered with stuffs which 
made me judge them to be allies. I therefore spoke to them first, and asked 
them who they were. They answered that they were Illinois, and in token of 
peace they presented their pipes to smoke. They then invited us to their vil- 
lage, where all the tribe awaited us with impatience. These pipes for smok- 
ing are called in this country calumet, a word that is so much in use that I 
shall be obliged to employ it in order to be understood, as I shall have to 
speak it frequently. 

"At the door of the cabin in which we were to be received was an old 
man awaiting us in a very remarkable posture, which is their usual cere- 
mony in receiving a stranger. This man was standing perfectly naked, with 
his hands stretched out and raised toward the sun, as if he wished to screen 
himself from its rays, which, nevertheless, passed through his fingers to his 
face. When we came near him he paid us this compliment. 'How beautiful 
is the sun, O Frenchmen, \\hen thou comest to visit us! All our town 
awaits thee and thou shalt enter into all our cabins in peace." He then took 
us to his, where there was a crowd of people, who devoured us with their 
eyes, but kept a profound silence. We heard, however, these words ad- 
dressed to us occasionally : 'Well done, brother, to visit us." As soon as we 
had taken our places in the cabin, they showed us the usual civilities, the pre- 
senting of the calumet. You must not refuse unless _\'0u would pass for an 
eneniv, at least for being very impolite. It is enough, howe\er, to pretend to 
smoke. While all the old men smoked after us to honor us, some came to in- 
vite us, on behalf of the great Sachem of the Illinois, to proceed to his town, 
where he wished to hold a council with us. We went with a good retinue, 
for all the people who had never seen a Frenchmen among them could not 
tire looking at us: they threw themselves on the grass near us l)y the wayside: 
then ran ahead of us : they threw themselves in front of us, and turned back 
to look at us again. All this was done without noise, and with the marks of 
great respect and entertained us well. 

"Having arrived at the great Sachem's town, we espied him at his 
cabin door between two old men ; all three standing naked, with their calumets 
turned toward the sun. He harangued us in a few words to congratulate on 
our arrival, and then presented us his calumet and made us smoke; at the 
same time we entered his cabin, where we received all their usual greetings. 
Seeing all assembled and in silence, I spoke to them by four presents whicli I 


made them take. By the first, I said that we marched in peace to visit the 
nations on the river to the sea; by the second, I declared to them that God, 
their creator, had pity on them, since after having been so long ignorant of 
Him, He wished to become known to all nations ; that I was sent on His l)e- 
half with that design; that it was for them to acknowledge and obey Him; 
by the third, that the great chief of the French informed them that he spread 
peace everywhere, and had overcome the Iroquois; lastly, by the fourth, we 
begged them to give us all the information they had of the sea, and of all 
nations through which we should have to pass to reach it. 

"When I had finished my speech, the Sachem rose, and laying his hand 
on the head of a little slave whom he was about to give us, spoke thus : 'I 
thank thee. Black-gown, and thee, Frenchman,' addressing M. Jollyet, 'for 
taking so much pains to come to visit us. Never has our river been so calm, 
nor so free from rocks, which your canoes have removed as they passed; 
never has our tobacco had so fine a' flavor, nor our corn appeared so beau- 
tiful as we behold it today. Here is my son, that I give thee that thou mayest 
know my heart. I pray thee take pity on me and all my nation. Thou know- 
est the Great Spirit who has made us all ; thou speakest to him and hearest 
his word ; ask him to give me life and health, and come and dwell with us 
that we may know him.' Saying this, he placed the little slave near us, and 
made us a second present, an all mysterious calumet, which they value more 
than a slave. By this present he showed us his esteem for our governor, after 
the account we had given of him. By the third, he begged us, on behalf of 
the whole nation, not to proceed farther on acount of the great dangers to 
which we exposed ourselves. 

"I replied that I did not fear death, and that I esteemed no happiness 
greater than that of losing my life for the glory of Him who made us all. 
But these poor people could not understand. The council was followed by a 
great feast which consisted of four courses, which we had to take with all 
their ways. The first course was a great wooden dish full of sagamity — 
that is to say, of Indian meal boiled in water and seasoned with grease. The 
master of ceremonies, witlt a spoonful of sagamit}-, presented it three or four 
times to the mouth, as we would do with a little child ; he did the same to M. 
Jollyet. For the second course, containing three fish, he took some pains to 
remove the bones, and having blown upon it to cool it, put it in my mouth, 
as we would food to a bird. For the third course they produced a large dog 
which thev had just killed, but learning that we did not eat it, withdrew it. 
Finally, the fourth course was a piece of wild ox, the fattest portions of 
which were ]nit into our mouths. 


"We took leave of our Illinois about the end of June, and embarked in 
sight of all the tribe, who admire our canoes, having never seen the like. 

"As we were discoursing, while sailing gently down a beautiful, still, 
clear water, we heard the noise of a rapid into which we were about to fall. 
I have seen nothing more frightful; a mass of large trees, entire with branches 
— real floating islands — came rushing from the mouth of the river Pekitanoui 
so impetuously that we could not, without great danger, expose ourselves to 
cross over it. The agitation was so great that the water was all muddy and 
could not get clear. 

"After having made about twenty leagues due south and a little less to 
the southeast, we came to the river called Ouabouskigon, the mouth of which 
is thirty-six degrees north. [This was the Wabash river.] This river comes 
from the country on the east inhabited by the Chaouanous, in such numbers 
that they reckon as many as twenty-three villages in one district, and fifteen 
in another, lying quite near each other. They are by no means warlike and 
are the people the Iroquois go far in order to wage an unprovoked war upon 
them; and as these poor people cannot defend themselves they allow them- 
selves to be taken and carried off like sheep, and, innocent as they are, do not 
fail to experience the barbarit}' of the Iroquois who burn them cruelly. 

"Having arrived about a half league from Akansea [Arkansas] river 
we saw two canoes coming towards us. The commander was standing up, 
holding in his hand a calumet, with which he made signs according to the 
customs of the country. He approached us, singing quite agreeably, and in- 
vited us to smoke, after which he presented us some sagimity and bread 
made of Indian corn, of which we ate a little. We fortunately found among 
them a man we brought from Mitchigamen. By means of him I first spoke to 
the assembly by ordinary presents. They admired what I told them of God 
and the mysteries of our holy faith, and showed a great desire to keep me 
with them to instruct them. 

"We then asked them what they knew of the sea ; they replied they 
were only ten days' journey from it (we could have made the distance in five 
days) ; that they did not know the nations who inhabited it. because their 
enemies prevented their commerce with these Europeans; that the Indians 
with fire-arms whom we had met were their enemies, who cut off the passage 
to the sea, and prevented their making an acquaintance with Europeans, or 
having commerce with such nation; that besides, we should expose ourselves 
greatly by passing out on the river. Since being armed, and used to war. we 
could not, without danger, advance on that river which they constantly occupy. 


"In the e\ening the Sachems lielil a secret council on the design of some 
to kill us fur ])lun(ler, hut the chief Ijroke up all these schemes, and sending for 
us, (lanced the calumet in presence, and then, U> remo\'e all fears, presented it 
to me. 

"AI. Jollyet and 1 held another council tu deliberate on what we should 
do. whether we should pusli on, or rest satisfied with the discovery we had 
made, .\fter having attenti\ely considered that we were not far from the 
gulf lit Mexico, the basin of which is thirt}'-(jne degrees north, anil we at 
thirty-three degrees; so that we could not be more than three days' journey; 
that the Mississippi undoubtedly had its mouth in Rorida or the Gulf of 
^Mexico, and not on tb.e east in \drginia, whose sea-coast is thirty-four de- 
grees north, which we had passed, without }-et having reached the sea, nor 
on the western side in California, liecause that would recjuire a westerly, or 
west southwest course, and we liad alwa>s been going south. We consid- 
ered, moreover, that we risked losing the fruit of the \-uyage, of which we 
could give no information, if we should throw oursehes into the hands of the 
Spaniartls, who would unduubtedlv at least hold us ])risoners. Besides it was 
clear that we were in no position to resist Indians allied to Euroiieans, numer- 
ous and expert in the use of fire-arms, who continually infested the lower 
part of the ri\er. Lastlv, we had gathered aM the information that could be 
gained from the expedition. All these reasons induced us to return. This 
was announced to the Indians, and after a day's rest prepared for it. 

"After a month's navigation down the Mississippi, from the forty-sec- 
ond to the thirt)'- fourth degree, and after having published the gospel as well 
as I could to the nations I met, we left the village of Akansea on the 17th of 
July, to retrace our steps. We accordingly ascended the Mississippi, which 
gave us great trouble to stem its currents. W^e left it indeed about the thirty- 
eighth degree, to enter another river ( the Illinois ) . which greatly shortened 
our way. and brought us little trouble, we soon arri\-ing to the lake of the 

"^^'e had seen nothing like this ri\-er. for the fertilit}- of the land, its 
prairies, woods, wild cattle, stag, deer, wild-cats, bustards, swans, ducks, par- 
rots, and even beaver ; its many little lakes and rivers. That on which we 
sailed is broad, deep and gentle for sixty-five leagues. During the spring and 
part of the summer, the only portage is half a league. 

'A'Ve found there an Illinois town called Kaskaski. composed of seventy- 
four cabins; thev received us well, and compelled me to ])romise them to re- 
turn and instruct then]. One of the chiefs of this tribe, with his young men. 



escorted us to Illinois lake, whence at last we returned in the close of Septem- 
ber to the Bay of tlie Fetid (Green bay), whence we had set out in the be- 
ginning of June. Had all this voyage caused but the sal\-ation of one soul, 
I should deem all my fatigue well repaid, and this 1 ha\e reason to think, for 
when I was returning, 1 passed by the Indians of Peoria. I was there three 
days announcing the faith in their cabins, after which, as we were embark- 
ing, thev brought me, on the water's edge, a dying child, which I baptized a 
little before it expired, b_\- an admiraljle providence for the sahation oi that 
innocent soul." 

Count Frontenac, writing from Quebec to M. Colljert, minister at 
Paris, announces that "Sr. Joliet, whom Monsieur Talon ad\'ised me, on my 
arri\'al from France, to dispatch for the discovery of the South sea, has re- 
turned three months ago. He has discovered some very fine countries, and a 
na\-igation so easy through beautiful rivers he has f(iund, that a person can 
go from Lake Ontario in a Ijark to the Gulf of Mexico, there being only one 
carrying place founil (around Niagara Falls), where Lake Ontario communi- 
cates with Lake Erie. I send you by my secretary, the map which Sr. Joliet 
has made of the Great river he has discovered, and the observations he has 
Iseen able to recollect, as he lost all his minutes and journals in the ship- 
wreck he suffered within sight of Montreal, where, after having a completed 
voyage of twelve hundred leagues, he was near being drowmed. and lost all 
his papers and a little Indian whom he brought from those countries. These 
accidents ha\'e caused me great regret." 

LA SALLe's explorations. 

Governor Frontenac of Quebec selected La Salle tci take command of 
Fort Frontenac, near Kingston, on the St. Lawrence rlvev. at that time a 
dilapidated, wooden structure on the frontier of Canada. La Salle remained in 
Canada about nine years, acquiring knowledge of the Indians, their man- 
ners, languages, etc. He then returned to France and presented a petition to 
the King, in which he urged the necessity of maintaining Frontenac, which 
he offered to restore with a structure of stone : to keep there a garrison erpial 
to the one in Montreal; to employ as man}^ as fifteen laborers during the first 
year; to clear and till the land, and to supply the surrounding Indian villages 
with Recollect missionaries in furtherance of the cause of religion, all at his 
own expense, on condition that the King would grant him the right of seign- 
iory and a monopoly of the trade incident to it. He further petitioned for 


title of nobility in consideration of voyages he had already made in Canada, 
at his own expense and which had resulted in great benefit to the King's 
colony. The King heard the petition graciously, and on May 13, 1675, 
granted La Salle and his heirs Fort Frontenac, with four leagues of the ad- 
jacent country along the lakes and rivers above and below the fort and a 
half league inward, and the adjacent islands, with the right of hunting and 
fishing on Lake Ontario and the near-by rivers. The same day he issued 
La Salle a title making him a nobleman, having, as the King declared, been 
informed of the worthy deeds performed by the people, either in reducing or 
civilizing the savages or in defending themselves against their frequent in- 
sults, especially of the Iroquois, etc.. He left France armed with these pre- 
cious documents and repaired to Canada, where he performed the conditions 
imposed by the terms of his titles. He sailed for France again in 1677, and 
in the following year, after he and Colbert had finally matured their plans, 
he again petitioned the King for a license to prosecute further discoveries. 
The King granted his request, giving him a permit, under date of May 12, 
1678, to endeavor to discover the western part of New France; the King 
avowing in the letters patent that he had "nothing more at heart than the 
discovery of that country where there is a prospect of finding a way to pene- 
trate Mexico," and authorizing La Salle to prosecute discoveries, and con- 
struct forts in such places as he might think necessary, and enjoy there the 
same monopoly as at Fort Frontenac on condition that the enterprise should 
be conducted at La Salle's expense and completed within five years; and 
that he should not trade with the savages, who carried their peltries and 
beavers to Montreal; and that the governor, intendant, justices and other 
officers of the King in New France, through the Prince de Conti, was intro- 
duced to one Henri de Tonti, an Italian by birth, who for eight years had 
been in the French service. Having had one of his hands shot off while in 
Sicily, he repaired to France to seek employment. It was a most fortunate 
meeting. Tonti — a name that should be prominently associated with dis- 
coveries in this part of America — became La Salle's companion. 

Supplied with this new grant of enlarged powers, La Salle, in company 
with Tonti, and thirty men, comprising pilots, sailors, carpenters and other 
mechanics, with a supply of material necessary for the intended expedition, 
left France for Quebec. Here the party was joined by some Canadians, and 
the whole force was sent forward to Fort Frontenac, at the outlet of Lake 
Ontario, since this fort had been granted to La Salle. He had, in conform- 
ity to the terms of his letters patent, greatly enlarged and strengthened its 


defenses. Here he met Louis Hennepin, a Franciscan friar, whom it seems 
had been sent hither, along with Father Gabriel de la Ribourde, all of the 
same religious order, to accompany La Salle's expedition. In the meantime 
Hennepin was occupied in pastoral labors among the soldiers of the garrison 
and the people of the little hamlet of peasants nearby, and proselyting the 
Indians of the neighboring country. Hennepin, from his own account, had 
not only traveled over several parts of Europe before coming to Canada, but 
since his arrival in America had spent much time in roaming about among 
the savages, to gratify his love of adventure and acquire knowledge. 

Hennepin's name and writings are so prominently connected with the 
history of the Mississippi valley and withal, his contradictory statements, 
made at a later date of his life, as to the extent of his own travels, have so 
clouded his reputation with grave doubt as to his regard to truth, that we 
will give no sketch of his life and travels, to speak of. His first work is gen- 
erally regarded as authentic. That he did go up the Mississippi river there 
seems no controversy, while grave doubts prevail as to many statements in 
his last publication, which would otherwise pass without suspicion were they 
not found in company with statements known to be untrue. 

In the preface of his work, published in 1697, Father Hennepin assigns 
as a reason why he did not publish his descent of the Mississippi river in his 
volume issued in 1683, "that I was obliged to say nothing of the course of 
the Mississippi, from the mouth of the Illinois down to the sea, for fear of 
disobliging M. La Salle, with whom I began my discovery. This gentleman 
alone would have the glory of having discovered the course of that river. 
But when he heard that I had done it two years before him he could never 
forgive me, though, as I have said, I was so modest as to publish nothing 
of it. This was the true cause of his malice against me and of the barbarous 
usage I met with in France." 

Still his description of places he did visit; the aboriginal names and 
manners and customs of the Indians, and other facts which he had no mo- 
tive to misrepresent, are generally agreed upon as true in his last, as well as 
in his first, publication. His works are indeed the only repositories of many 
interesting particulars relating to the Northwest, and authors quote from him, 
some indiscriminately and others with more caution, while all criticise him 
without measure. Hennepin, known as "Father Hennepin." was Ijorn in 
Belgium in 1640 and died at Utrecht, Holland, within a few years after the 
publication of his last book. 



La Salle brought up the St. Lawrence to Fort Frontenac the anchors, 
cordage and other material to be used in the vessel which he designed to 
construct above the Niagara Falls, for na\-igating the western lakes. He 
already had three small vessels on Lake Ontario, which he had made use of 
in a coasting trade with the Indians. One of these, a brigantine of ten tons, 
was loaded with his effects; his men, including Fathers Gabriel, Zenobius 
Membre and Hennepin, who were commissioned with care of the spiritual di- 
rection of the expedition, were placed aboard, and Xnxember i8th the 
vessel sailed westward for the Niagara river. Thej- kept the northern shore, 
and run into land and bartered for corn with the Iroquois at one of their 
villages, situated where Toronto, Canada, is located, and for fear of being 
frozen in the ri\er, which here empties into the lake, had to cut the ice from 
about their ship. Detained by ad\-erse winds, they remained here until the 
wind was favorable, when they sailed across the end of the lake and found 
anchorage in the mouth of Niagara river on December 6th. The season was 
far advanced and the ground covered with snow- fully a foot deep. Large 
masses of ice were floating and it became necessary to protect the ship, hence 
it was drawn up against the current, by means of strong cables, and finally 
dragged to the shore. A cabin, to protect with palisades, for shelter and to 
serve as a magazine to store supplies in, was also constructed. The ground 
w^as frozen so hard that it had to be thawed out with boiling water l^efore the 
men could drive the stakes. La Salle now commenced to plan for his new 
boat. The ground was cleared away, trees felled, and carpenters were set 
to work January 26th, and some of the plank being ready to fasten on. La 
Salle dro\-e the first spike. As the work progressed La Salle made several 
trips, over snow and ice, for the purpose of hurrying matters along by secur- 
ing his needed materials. One of his vessels was lost on Lake Ontario, heav- 
ily laden with a cargo of \-aluable supplies, through the fault or wilful per\-er- 
sity of her pilot. The Iroquois Indians were causing La Salle all kinds of trou- 
ble and these savage depredations, want of wholesome food, the loss of the 
vessel on the lake, and a refusal of the neighboring tribes to sell any 
more store of their corn, reduced the party to such extremities that the ship- 
carpenters tried to run away. They were finally persuaded to remain and 
prosecute the work. Six months later the new boat was finished, and had 
been set afloat even prior to that time, to avoid the designs of the Indians. 
She was sixty tons burden, and called the "Griffin." It was not until August, 


1679, that her canvas was spread and the pilot, steering Ijy the compass, with 
La Salle and his thirty or more men, sailed out westward upon the unknown, 
silent waters of Lake Erie. Three days' sailing brought them to the mouth 
of the Detroit river. Father Hennepin was fairly delighted with the coun- 
try along the river last mentioned. So charmed was he that he undertook to 
persuade La Salle to settle at "De Troit." But La Salle would not listen to his 
plea, but steadily pressed onward and after nearly being shipwrecked in a 
storm, he finally reached the island of Mackinaw. La Salle, it must be re- 
membered, had two objecLs — first, his interest in the commerce of the new, 
wild country, the purchase (_)f \aluable furs, and secondly, his interest in mak- 
ing discoveries and explorations for his King, as he had contracted to do. 
Here La Salle made a hasty decision that really was the worst step he ever 
took in his career. This was in sending the ship liack down the waters of the 
lakes, and then himself to prosecute his voyage the. rest of the way to the 
head of Lake Michigan in frail birchen canoes. It delayed his discoveries for 
two long years, brought severe hardships upon himself and greatly embar- 
rassed all his future plans. The "Griffin" was lost, with all her cargo. She 
nor her crew was ever heard of after leaving the Pottawatomie islands and 
what became of the ship and men in charge remains a myster\' to this day. 
La Salle himself grew into a settled conviction that the "'Griffin" had been 
treacherously sunk by the pilot and sailors to whom he had entrusted her, 
and in after years thought he had found evidence that the authors of the 
crime, laden with the merchandise they had taken from her, had reached 
the Mississippi and ascended it, hoping to join De Shut, the famous chief of 
the Coureurs de Bois, and enrich themselves by traffic with the northern 

The following is, in part, Hennepin's account of La Salle's voyage in 
canoes frotn the mouth of Green Bay south along the shore of Lake Michi- 
gan, past Milwaukee and Chicago and around the southern end of the lake; 
thence along the eastern shore to the mouth of St. Joseph river; thence up 
that stream to South Bend, making the portage here to the headwaters of 
the Kankakee; thence down the Kankakee and Illinois through Peoria lake. 
The privation and suffering to which La Salle and his party were exposed 
in navigating Lake Michigan at that early (.lay, and late in the autunm of tlie 
year, when the waters were vexed with storms, illustrate the courage and 
daring of such an undertaking. Hennepin says: "We left the Pottawatomie 
islands to continue our voyage, being fourteen men in all, in four canoes. I 
had charge of the smallest, which carried five hundred weight and two men. 


My companions being recently from Europe and unskilled with such boats, 
left me to handle the same in time of storms. 

"The canoes were laden with a smith's forge, utensils, tools for carpen- 
ters, joiners and sawyers, besides our goods and arms. We steered to the 
south toward mainland, from which the Pottawatomie islands are distant 
forty leagues ; but about midway, and in the night-time, we were greatly en- 
dangered by a sudden stonn. The waves dashed into our faces, the night was 
dark and we had much difficulty in keeping our canoes together. The day- 
light coming on, we reached the shore, where we remained four days, waiting 
for the lake to grow calm. In the meantime our Indian hunter went ashore 
in search of game, but killing nothing other than a porcupine; this, however, 
made our Indian corn relishing. The weather became fair, we resumed our 
voyage, rowing all day and well into the night, along the western coast of the 
lake of Illinois. The wind again grew too fresh, and we landed upon a rocky 
beach where we had nothing to protect ourselves against a storm of snow and 
rain, except the clothing on our persons. We remained here two days for the 
sea to go down, having made a little fire from the wood cast ashore by the 
waves. We proceeded on our voyage, and toward evening the winds again 
forced us to the beach covered with rushes, where we remained three days; 
and in the meantime our provision, consisting of only pumpkins and Indian 
corn, purchased from the Pottawatomies, entirely gave out. Our canoes were 
so heavily laden that we could not carry provisions with us, and we were 
compelled to rely on bartering for such supplies on our way. We left this 
dismal place, and after rowing twelve leagues came to another Pottawatomie 
village, whose inhabitants stood upon the beach to receive us. But M. La 
Salle refused to let any one land, notwithstanding the severity of the weather, 
fearing some of his men might run away. We were in such great peril that 
La Salle flung himself into the water, after we had gone three leagues farther, 
and, with the aid of three men, carried. the canoe of which he had charge upon 
their shoulders, otherwise it would have been broken to pieces by the waves. 
We were obliged to do the same with the other canoes. I myself carried the 
good Father Gabriel upon my back, his age being so well advanced as not to 
admit of his venturing in the water. We took ourselves to a piece of rising 
ground to avoid surprise, as we had no manner of acquaintance with the 
great number of savages whose village was so near at hand. We sent three 
men into the village to buy provisions, under the protection of the calumet 
("pipe-of-peace"), which the Indians had presented us as a means of intro- 
duction to, and a measure of safety against other tribes that we might meet 
on our way." 


Father Hennepin continues: "Our three men, carrying the calumet and 
being well armed, went to the little village about three leagues from the 
place we had landed; they found no one at home, for the inhabitants, having 
heard that we refused to land at the other village, supposed we were enemies 
and had abandoned their habitations. In their absence our men took some 
of their corn, and left instead some goods, to let them know we were neither 
enemies nor robbers. Twenty of the inhabitants of this village came to our 
encampment on the beach, armed with axes, small guns, bows, and a sort of 
a club, which in their language, means a head-breaker. La Salle, with four 
well-armed men, advanced toward them for the purpose of opening a con- 
versation. He requested them to come near us, saying he had a party of 
hunters out who might come across them and take their lives. They came 
forward and took seats at the foot of an eminence, where we were en- 
camped, and La Salle amused them with the relation of his voyage, which he 
informed them he had undertaken for their advantage and thus occupied 
their time until the arrival of the three men who had been sent out with the 
calumet, on seeing which the savages gave a great shout, arose to their feet 
and danced about. We excused our men from having taken some of their 
corn, and informed them that we had left its true value in goods ; they were 
so well pleased with this that they immediately sent for more corn, and on 
the next day they made us a gift of as much as we could conveniently carry 
in our canoes. 

"The next morning the old men of the tribe came to us with their calu- 
met of peace, and entertained us with a free offering of wild goats, which 
their own hunters had taken. In return, we presented them with our thanks, 
accompanied with some axes, knives, and several little toys for their wives, 
with all which they were veiy much pleased. We left this place the following 
morning and soon encountered a four-days storm. 

"November ist we again embarked on the lake and came to the mouth 
of the Miamis, which comes from the southeast and falls into the lake." 

La Salle and his party entered Kaskaska village, near Peoria lake, April 
8, 1677. The Indians gave him hearty welcome and flocked from all direc- 
tions to the town to hear the "Black Gown" relate the truths of Christianity. 
December 3, 1679, the explorers embarked, being in all thirty-three men and 
eight canoes. They left the lake of Illinois and went up the river of the 
Miamis, which they had before made soundings of. Hennepin says: "We 
made about five and twenty leagues southward, but failed to discover the 
place where we were to land, and carry our canoes and effects into the river 


of Illinois, which falls into that of the Mississippi. \\"e had already gone be- 
yond the portage, and, not knowing where we were, we thought proper to 
remain there, as we were expecting M. La Salle, who had taken to the land to 
view the country. He was lost for a time, but finally came to the rest of his 

La Salle then rebuilt Fort Miamis and finally abandoned his voyage 
down the Mississippi by sailing boats and concluded to go by ordinary 
wooden pirogues or canoes. Tonti was sent forward to Chicago creek, 
where he constructed a number of sledges. After other preparations had 
been made, La Salle and his party left St. Joseph, came around the lake, and 
placed their effects in sledges. His party consisted of twenty-three French- 
men and eighteen Indians. The savages took with them ten squaws and 
three children, making in all fifty- four persons. They had to make the port- 
age of the Chicago river. After dragging their canoes, sledges, baggage and 
pro\'isions, about eighty leagues over the ice, on the Desplaines and Illinois 
rivers, they came to an old Indian town. The expedition continued down, as 
fast as weather would permit, to the Mississippi. Bearing down that wonder- 
ful stream, they finally, on April 6th, came to the place into where the river 
begins to divide into several channels and empty into the gulf of Mexico. La 
Salle, in a canoe, coasted the borders of the sea, and then the parties assem- 
bled on a dry spot of grounil, not far from the mouth of the river. On April 
9th, with all the pomp and ceremony of the Holy Catholic church. La Salle, 
in the name of the King of France, took possession of the Mississippi and 
all its tributaries. The entire party, civilized and savage, present with the 
expedition fired their grms and shouted, "Vive le Rio." La Salle planted the 
column, at the same time proclaiming, in a loud voice, "In the name of the 
Most High, Mighty, Invincible and Victorious Prince, Louis the Great, by 
the Grace of God, King of France and of Navarre, fourteenth of that name, 
I, this ninth day of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty-two, in vir- 
tue of the commission of bis Majesty and his successors to the crown, take 
possession of this country of Louisiana, the seas, harbors, ])orts, bays, adja- 
cent straits, and all the people, nations, provinces, cities, towns, villages, mines, 
minerals, fisheries, streams and rivers within the extent of the said Louisiana, 
from the mouth of the great river St. Louis, otherwise called Ohio, as also 
along the ri\-er Colbert, or Mississippi, and the ri\-ers that discharge them- 
selves therein from its source beyond the country of the Sioux, as far as its 
mouth at the sea, and also to the' mouth of the river Palms, upon the assur- 
ance we have had from the nati\-es of countries that we were the fii'st 


Europeans who have descended or ascended the river Colbert (Mississippi) ; 
hereby protesting against all who may hereafter undertake to invade any or all 
of these aforesaid countries, peoples or lands, to the prejudice of His Ma- 
jesty, acquired by the consent of the nations dwelling herein. Of which, and 
of all else that is needful. I hereby take to witness those who hear nie, and 
demand an act of the notary here present." 

At the foot of the tree to which the cross was attached La Salle caused 
to be buried a leaden plate, on the one side of which were engraven the arms 
of France, and on the opposite, the following Latin inscription : 

"Louis the Great reigns. Robert Cavalier, with Lord Tonti as lieutenant. 
R. P. Zenobe Membre. Recollect, and twenty-two l^'renchmen. first na\i- 
gated this stream from the country of the Illinois, and also passed through its 
mouth, on the 9th of April, 1682.'' 

Thus was completed the disco\ery and taking p(_)ssessi(jn of the Missis- 
sippi valley, and France became the rightful owner of all that section of the 
country known as such now, including the states of Illinois and Indiana — in 
fact all that country bounded on the east by the Alleghanies and extending 
west to the Rocky mountains. Had France, with the same energy she pur- 
sued in discovering Louisiana, retained her grasp upon this territory, the 
dominant race in the valley of the Mississippi would have been Gallic instead 
of Anglo-Saxon. 

From this period until 1698 the French made no further attempts to 
colonize the lower Mississippi. They had no settlements below the Ohio, 
and above the Illinois river and in the lake regions the\' had only a chain of 
forts or posts. The next move on the part of France w as to grant to Crozat 
in September, 17 12, a monopoly on all the domain aI)ove described. This 
grant was by Louis XIV, and Crozat failed after three years and, about 171 7, 
surrendered his grant back to the King of France and the same year the 
King turned the possessions all o\-er to "The Mississippi Company," later 
styled the "Company of the Indies." The head of this companv was John. 
Law, a famous Scotch banker, a regular "get-rich-quick" style of a man. Bv 
this company, however signally it finally failed, it did colonize and till the soil 
and erect forts and trading posts. It had its day and in 1731 the Indies Com- 
pany surrendered to F"rance, Louisiana, with its forts, plantations, colonies, 
etc., and from thia time forward to the conquest of Great Britain the domain 
was governed by French appointed officers. France held possession to the 
country in question until the Revolutionary struggle, which inxohed the 
colonies and France, as well as the supposed right of Indian tribes.. After 


hostilities had ceased between Great Britain and America, though the treaty 
of Paris was not concluded until February, 1783, the most essential parts of 
which are contained in the following extracts : 

"In order to establish peace on solid and durable foundations, and to 
remove forever all subjects of dispute with regard to the lines of the limits 
of the British and French territories on the continent of America, it is agreed 
that for the future the confines between the dominions of his Brittanic Ma- 
jesty and those of His Most Christian Majesty in that part of the world, 
shall be fixed irrevocably by a line drawn along the middle of the river Mis- 
sissippi from its source to the river Iberville, and from thence by a line drawn 
along the middle of the river and the lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain, to 
the sea ; and for this purpose the most Christian King cedes in full right, and 
guarantees to his Brittanic Majesty the river and port of Mobile, and every- 
thing which he possesses, or ought to possess, on the left side of the Missis- 
sippi, with the exception of the town of New Orleans and of the island on 
which it is situated it being well understood that the navigation of the Mis- 
sissippi shall be equally free, as well to the subjects of Great Britain as to 
those of France, in its whole length and breadth, from its source to the sea." 

With the termination of the Revolution, and the success of the American 
colonies, England had to yield its claim on this territory, and emigration com- 
menced pouring into the Northwest Territory, until it had become large 
enough in population to be divided into smaller territories. The act of Con- 
gress of the United States making such first division was dated May 7, t8oo, 
and this subdivision included what is now the state of Indiana. 


In 1828 the general government purchased the "ten. mile strip" along the 
northern end of the state, and in 1832 extinguished the remaining claims of 
the Indians, save the numerous reservations in the northern part. In 1835 
the greater part of the natives were removed west of the Mississip])i, and in 
1840 all save a few had emigrated from special resei-vations. As the state 
was thus left free for settlement, the surveyor pioneered the advancing civi- 
lization, and counties were rapidly organized in response to the growing de- 
mand of the increasing population. The tide of immigration came princi- 
pally from the South at first, and later from the East, the organization of 
counties giving a pretty clear indication of the nature of this development. 
At the organization of the state government, fifteen counties had been formed, 
and others were organized as follows: 1817, Daviess, Pike, Jennings, Sul- 


livan; 1818, Crawford, Dubois, Lawrence, Monroe, Randolph, Ripley, Spen- 
cer, Vanderburg, Vigo; 1819, Fayette, Parke, Union; 1822, Decatur, Marion, 
Morgan, Putnam, Rush, Shelby; 1823, Hamilton, Johnson, Madison, Mont- 
gomery; 1824, Allen, Hendricks, Vermillion; 1825, Clay; 1826, Delaware, 
Fountain, Tippecanoe; 1828, Carroll, Hancock, Warren; 1829, Cass; 1830, 
Boone, Clinton, Elkhart, St. Joseph; 1831, Grant; 1832, LaGrange, LaPorte; 
1834, Huntington, White; 1835, Miami, Wabash; 1836, Adams, Brown, 
DeKalb, Fulton, Kosciusko, Marshall, Noble, Porter; 1837, Blackford. 
Lake, Steuben, Wells, Jay; 1838, Jasper; 1840, Benton; 1842, Whitley; 1844, 
Howard, Ohio, Tipton; 1850, Starke; 1859, Newton. 



At least two races of men had inhabited Parke and adjoining counties 
prior to the achent of white men — the red-brown savages we style Indians, 
and the other, that mysterious type of men and women generally called 
Mound Builders, and of whom we know but little, save the fact that they 
preceded the red man and left great memr,rials in the sha])e of mounds, in 
which in manv instances are found tools and implements of ipiite a high ty])e 
of cix'ilization, much liigber than those found among the Indian peo])le when 
white men first visited this section. Parke county, howe\-er, was not so 
favorite a spot for the abiding place of this first race as was the country along 
the ^^'abash and other streams, and in Vermillion county these numerous 
mounds stand out as bold and impressive works of a jjeople long .since passed 
into death and oblivion. They were certainly a part of the great creation of 
man. Init as to their manner of life, their aspirations and achie\'ements and 
how the\- became extinct, not the slightest ]M)siti\-e record has lieen left In- 
them. However, those who have spent a lifetime in research claim that all 
e\'idence jjoints to the fact that they originally came here from tlie far snuth. 
possibly Central .\merica: that they were at least half cixilized, and. fullowing 
up the streams, Iniilt well fortified towns along them and tilled the terraced 
lands and "second bottoms :"' that thev finally l)ecame inxnhed in a great war 
with the natives of this north land, and that the last of them left the Ohio 
and ^lississippi valleys more than a thousand years ago. Certain it is that 
time enough has elapsed since their exodus for trees to grow up through the 
mounds they made and which are now more than four feet in diameter. 
Copper implements unknown to Indian life and industry are now and then 
unearthed by those in search of such relics. The next race to jiossess the 
territory included in Parke county was the North American Indian, six 
tribes at least of which, at one time or another dwelt here. Their uniform 
course has been from north to south, rolling wave on wave, each invasion 
driving its predecessors before it, and all originating in the common center 
of the great Northwest. The Athabasca basin appears to be the great 
"northern hi\-e"' from which manv Indian tribes have swarmed. So far as 


our knowledge goes the lUiiii tribe were tlriven awa)- by the Hnroii-Iroqiiois. 
and tradition tells us that desperate battles ensued between these tribes along 
Sugar creek and the river ^^'abash. Next in turn, came the great nation 
known as the Wabash, or the Miamis. The b>ench first met this tribe in 
northern Iowa; thence they came, generation after generatii;)n farther south, 
driving other nations before them; and as they came they divided themselves 
into three bands, the Weas. Miamis and Piankeshaws. Idie latter crossed 
the Wabash early in the eighteenth century and had possession on l)oth sides 
from Tippecanoe to the Ohio. These may rightfully lie styled our aborigines, 
for they and the original Aliamis were the dominant tril)e when the vhite 
race came here to remain. To these Indians came the b'rencli traders and 
missionaries e\'en |)rior to 1700: posts were established, and it was not long 
before a mixed race arose known as the Franco-AIiamis. and this was long 
before a word of English had ever jieen heard west of the Scioto. These 
Piankeshaws in 1705-12 had a village on .Sugar creek, the stream by them 
called Pun-go-se-co-ne ("Water of many sugar trees"), and to that village 
came a young Frenchman cpiite early in that century, an account of which 
\\as published in 1718 by the Catholic church. 

Xext came the bloodthirsty Pottawatomies. which trilje originated in 
the wooded wilderness of the Lake Huron flistrict. and who by successi\"e 
struggles against other tribes finally succeeded, in 1790. in reaching the lower 
Wabash. The Miamis yielded them a share of their country, rather than 
engage in a war of extermination. Pushed on by the Sioux nation, the 
Kickapoos swept down from the north and in 1796 had a A'illage north of 
the Vermillion, and in the early days were numerous on this side of the 
Wabash, though generally belie\-ed liy pioneers to lia\e been merely squatters 
among the ]\Iiamis. Next came the Shawnees. who were dri\en from Lake 
Erie by the L'oquois and fought their way l;iy slow process to the l)end of the 
Tennessee ; thence, in turn, they were dri\'en by the Cherokees, when they 
moved southeast and settled in Florida. After one generation. the\' again 
started northward, in various bands: the main one appealed to the Miamis 
for succor, was received by them, and soon after was permanently incor- 
porated among the Indians of the Wabash. Shawnee creek and Prairie creek, 
in Fountain county, indicate one of their strongholds, but thev are reallv 
known best to the whites from having produced the noted warrior Tecumseh 
and his brother, the Prophet. In all the negotiations with n(]\-ernor Harrison, 
preceding the famous battle of Tippecanoe, all the other Indians insisted that 
the Shawnees were only squatters here and had no equal rights or title to 


lands here; and to this fact, perhaps, is due the strangely conglomerate char- 
acter of Tecumseh's confederacy. 

The Delawares were first found by the whites on Delaware bay, where 
they called themselves Lenni-Lennape, or "original men," but were called by 
the other Indians the Wau-pan-nek-ee, and recognized as the common ances- 
tors of the most powerful tribes of the south, including the Powhatan Indians 
and the Cherokees. As late as 1880, in the Indian Territory, this claim was 
recognized, and in the peculiar ranking of the tribes in council the Delaware 
sits as the grandfather. The Quakers made a treaty with them at the start, 
and kept it ; but all the same, the Indians lost their lands, and grew poor and 
hostile. Thence they were pushed back, foot by foot, across the continent, 
till, in 1799, a treaty bearing the signature of John Adams recognized them 
as owners of all Indiana between the White and Ohio rivers. They still fell 
back slowly, and from 1800 to 1820 were numerous in Parke county; but 
about the time our pioneers came they were concentrating near the middle of 
the state, which was their last stronghold in Indiana. Among their chiefs 
who figured in this region was Captain Anderson. Such were the various 
tribes who contributed to form the Indian population of this valley, and 
thus it was that our pioneers saw individuals of all these tribes, the Pianke- 
shaw-Miamis being most numerous on Sugar creek and upper Raccoon, 
while the Weas and their conquerors were dominant along the Wabash below 

"Such were our predecessors. Their names we know, their fate we 
know and something of their habits ; but fancy strives in vain to portray the 
country as it looked to their eyes. The change has been too great for us. To 
see it as it was then is impossible. The traveler who now enters this county 
on either of our railroads is whirled along in soothing motion through sylvan 
scenes, which disclose every moment a new beauty. Now from the car 
window he looks upon a neat village where, in happy homes, the fair little 
Saxons play in secured peace; now he looks upon a well-kept farm, its 
granaries full and its owner busy among his flocks and herds or in his well- 
tilled fields. Again he sees the open groves where blooded stock grazes in 
peaceful content ; and yet again the dark green woods and open vista beyond 
which shows the home-like farm house, set in elegant shrubbery and sur- 
rounded by the charming blue grass. Here he sees the indications of a coal 
mine; there of a rock quarry and yonder other marks of an industrious race. 
And again he passes for miles through gently rolling fields whence comes the 
scent of clover or new-mown hay, and is cheered by the rattle of the reaper 


and the hum of laboring grangers. Not less does he see on every command- 
ing point the pretty white church with heavenward-pointing spire or the 
district school house, or more pretentious academy. 

"A hundred years ago how different the scene. An unbroken forest 
spread from north to south and from the eastern border to the small prairie 
which lines the Wabash below Montezuma. Along the highest land between 
the two Racoons ran an Indian trace from Weautanon, or Orchardtown 
(Terre Haute), to Ouiatenon. Down the Wabash came the light pirogue of 
the French-Canadian or the lighter canoe of the red man; and along the 
creeks the savages hunted or fished or idled away the long summer days. 
Sugar creek, from its source to its mouth, had witnessed many a hard-fought 
battle between Indian tribes who contended for its possession, but now the 
Miamis band held it in peace. They found in its waters, alive with fish, an 
unfailing resource when game was scarce. From the mouth of the Leather- 
wood to the Wabash extended a straggling village of Wea-miamis, at the 
head of which in later years was a chief with an unpronounceable name whom 
the whites familiarly called Johnny Green. On Sugar creek, we know not 
exactly where, was another village, and along Big Raccoon were a few small 
settlements, inhabited only in winter. Sugar creek through its upper course 
ran then, as now, between bold and rock bluffs, but no other creek in the 
county was anything like it is now. They consisted rather of long, deep 
ponds connected with shallow ripples, and Big Raccoon through much of its 
lower course had no defined channel. Beaver dams and immense drifts 
obstructed its course, and for miles in a place the stream extended almost 
from bluff to bluff, a long swamp with a slow current. Indeed, as late as 
1850, many of the creeks in this county had a more uniform volume of water 
in summer than now, and contained many long, deep pools joined iDy ripples; 
and the Wabash remained navigable till late in the summer for Ohio steamers. 
None of the streams rose so suddenly, or so high as now, and none fell so 
low in the summer. The Wabash had at least twice the summer volume it 
now has, and even such small streams as Mill creek. This was also true of 
Williams creek and Rock ran, each and all being good fishing runs and 
remained good mill streams till 1830-40. The rain fall of the year has not 
decreased, but it was then more evenly distributed in time. The further change 
is accounted for by the clearing of the land and the draining of the swamps, 
allowing the falling rains to discharge more rapidly. Such were a few of 
the features of the county a hundred years ago." — From the pen of J- H. 



Thirty-five years afterward considerable change was already noticeable. 
Jacob, Swan and Bull, Wea chiefs, ranged from Orchardtown ( Terre Haute) 
to Shawnee Prairie; Stone-eater had his headquarters on or just above 
Sugar creek, and the Dazney Indians roamed over the Raccoon prairie and 
thence on to Fort Harrison. The soldier, the explorer and the hunter had 
become acquainted with the land, and the whites of more eastern localities 
looked toward this section for a home-building spot. Rev. Isaac McCoy, who 
preached the first gospel sermon in this green, glad solitude, had invaded this 
region. He was a Baptist missionary and came to the Wabash valley to 
preach to the Indians and white men, in 1817, preaching at points as far 
north as the Big Raccoon. In fact, it might be stated that he could have 
been considered the first white settler, for he was certainly here long enough 
to become a settler, legally. Early in 1818 he made a location on land in 
the farm later owned and occupied by Mrs. Lawrence Cox, and he collected 
a few half-breed children and taught them English and religion. He learned 
the Indian dialect in order to better cope with the Catholic missionaries who 
spoke that language, especially among the Miamis. A few Christianized 
Indians came from Brothertown, New York, and assisted him. In 1819 Mr. 
McCoy married the first couple ever united in Parke county. His diary says : 

"On the i6th of February I joined in marriage Mary Ann Isaacs, of 
the Brothertown Indians, who had been spending a few weeks at our house, 
to Christmas Dashney, a half-breed Wea." 

Historian Beadle, so well known in Indiana, said of this faithful mis- 
sionary of the Cross: "Mr. McCoy continued his labors in this county till 
1822-3 ; and his journal tells of struggle against struggle and continued dis- 
appointment; of loving care for converts demoralized by the whisky of white 
men; of toilsome journeys to Indian camps; of cold nights in the lonely 
woods; of shivering days in wet brush; of insults and rebuffs; of hunger and 
foul weather. He was a gentleman of culture and of pleasing address, and 
soon learned to speak the Indian dialect fluently. He was assisted, now and 
then, by other teachers and preachers, including Mr. Martin and Johnston 
Lykens. With a large family he followed the Indians, even to Michigan, 
seeing them die off like sheep from the effect of white man's whisky. Thence 
he followed them to Indian Territory, about 1830, and saw the remnant of 
the tribe attached to the Cherokee nation. He had fought a long, hard fight 
and lost, as the world would say; he had attached himself to a dying race, 
and neither prayers nor tears nor much labor could arrest their inevitable 
decay. Nay, the destinv of the race seemed even to his friends to be death ; 


one by one, he saw his ten children sicken and die, and in his old age, lonely 
and poor, he calls upon God to attest the rectitude of his intentions and save 
a few witnesses for him out of the many for whom he had toiled. And at 
the last he saw an Indian church formed on an apparently sure foundation 
in Oklahoma.'' 

It would seem that this was a part of God's great plan — the red man 
must needs become extinct and the higher race, the white, must perfect the 
plans of an All-wise Providence. If so, then God will retrieve and make right 
all these seeming wrongs between the two races. In that other and eternal 
existence, such characters as Missionary Isaac McCoy and John Elliott, Las 
Casas and William Penn must be permitted to rejoice with the once sad 
victims of civilization, and go out to suffer no more for ever. 

After the period just named came the battle of Tippecanoe, in Novem- 
ber, 1811; then the war of 1812 with England. In October, 1818, the 
Indians signed the treaty of St. Mary's (Ohio), by which they ceded all of 
these lands north of the "ten o'clock line," except the "Sugar Creek Reserve," 
and early in 1819 William Polk surveyed the eastern portion of Parke 
county and ran the line of the Reserve, as "provided by law," completing 
his work in August. The eastern line of the reserve was not, however, 
cardinal ; it ran from Raccoon to Sugar creek in a line a little east of north, 
passing two miles west of Rockville. It was provided by law that this should 
remain a reserve, and the timber thereon be protected and the Indians 
guaranteed peaceable possession " until such time as the United States shall 
make further and permanent provision for the Confederated Weas and 
Miamis ; provided, that Christmas Dazney, on account of important public 
services, shall be entitled in fee simple to one section of said reserve, to be by 
him selected." This section Mr. Dazney chose near Stringtown, as it was 
called, now Armiesburg, and old settlers a third of a century knew it as the 
Dazney farm. Thereafter the land below the line was known as Old Pur- 
chase, and that above as New Purchase; nor was Sugar Creek Reserve for- 
mally opened to settlement till 1823, when \Villiam Bentley surveyed it into 

On his way to Tippecanoe county, General Harrison, in 181 1, with 
nearly one thousand United States troops, crossed the Raccoon creek in 
X^^abash township, this county, and camped for the night. 



When General Harrison left Vincennes in November, 1811, to proceed 
against the Indians in what is now Tippecanoe connty, and which campaign 
resulted in the triumphant battle of Tippecanoe, on the morning of Novem- 
ber 7, 1 81 1, he took between eight and nine hundred soldiers of the United 
States army and marched under the guide and trlisty scout, Zachariah Cicott. 
He entered what is now known as Mound township, Warren county, thence 
passed northward through Kent township, encamping first (in that county) 
in a small grove, and there on his return trip, after the battle, buried two or 
three soldiers who had been wounded at Tippecanoe. Their resting place is 
at what is now called Gopher Hill cemetery, about two miles to the southeast 
of State Line village. From that point the army resumed their march north- 
east and passed by the huge bowlder, which until recent years stood in the 
highway on the old Hunter farm, between sections 19 and 30, township 21, 
range 9 west. This was an immense granite bowlder and if it had not 
thoughtlessly been blasted and removed would doubtless today have a suitable 
inscription on its rustic surface, making a permanent landmark for all gen- 
erations to come, showing just where Harrison and his army passed. The 
second encampment in Warren county was made just across the Big I'ine 
creek, east, and "about eleven miles from its mouth into river Wabash.'' 
This is known now as "Army Ford,'" and there seems to be two theories as 
to where the army really did cross this creek, but the generally accepted one 
is that his crossing was made above where Honey creek comes into Big Pine 
creek, and in the center of section 9, township 22, range 8 west, on lands 
now owned by Scott Brier, a descendant of one of the first settlers, and who, 
with his neighbors, has always called this the crossing place of the army. It 
is in Liberty township. This seemed to be the belief of Judge Isaac Naylor, 
who wrote on this theme many years since, and he was with Cicott after the 
war of 181 2 and went over the trail and noted the camping places. 

The other theory (we give it for what it is worth) is that it was in the 
southwest quarter of section 4 in the same township and range, less than a 
mile to the northwest. But there seems little good evidence that this is correct. 

From that point — "Army Ford," wherever that may have been — the line 
of march was taken up and pursued in a northeastern direction, directly to 
where the battle was fought in Tippecanoe county, passing through the 
corner of Pine township, diagonally northeast through Adams township. 


cutting the northwest corner of ]\Iedina township, thence on into Tippecanoe 

It should be added that on the march back from Tippecanoe to Vin- 
cennes, Harrison lost a man named Drummond, who was buried near the 
camping place on Big Pine creek. The grandsons of pioneer settlers re- 
member the grave well and frequently tell strangers of its loneliness, at an 
early day. This soldier, with probably the three buried at what is Gopher 
Hill cemetery, were the only ones who died from wounds en route to Vin- 
cennes, and to their gra\'es there should be placed an appropriate tablet or 
monument, either by Warren county or by the general government, the bra^•e 
men certainly deserving of such recognition, even at this late day. 


Parke county is based on a regular slope from east to west. Along the 
eastern border of the county the under-coal limestone crops out, being the 
bed-rock of Big Raccoon at intervals for ten miles. Thence westward, then 
through what may well be styled the basin rock of the county, with a tolerably 
regular slope for fifteen to twenty feet to the mile, passing some distance 
under the bed of the Wabash, and, as shown by borings made up to 1880, 
maintained the same westward slope to the Little Wabash river, under which 
it is found seven hundred feet deep. Beyond that it turns and comes up with 
the same regularity, again coming to the surface in western Illinois. Assum- 
ing that this was the bed of the old river in which the coal was made, Parke 
county lies along the east shore of what was the marsh in which the coal 
plant grew. The fossils, therefore, are all of the coal period — at least in the 
western part of this county. The huge reptiles and mammals lived in the 
next succeeding ages. The largest of these fossils now unearthed are a 
species of the "goose-necked lizard" and some detached bones of an 
American mastodon. As most of this county was filled with made or solid 
land before the coal period ended, it follows that all the rock-in-place is of 
the sandstone shale and lime-rock of the coal measures, but on that there is 
an immense thickness of drift and the soil is from the wear of the crystalized 
Canadian rocks. For these reasons there is an inexhaustible fertility directly 
over immense beds of coal, with an abundance of good building stone and the 
finest of pure water from springs and wells. As the larger streams, in their 
passage across the county, have to cut down from the high levels of the lime- 
stone foundation to the level of the river Wabash, there appear wild, per- 
cipitous blufifs, presenting some of the finest scenery in all Indiana. 



The contents of this chapter are beheved to be substantially all that is 
necessary in order to give the reader a comprehensive account of the tirst 
settlement of what is now known as Parke county, Indiana. Not that it 
contains in minute detail the circumstances surrounding the entry of land 
and settlement of each actual settler in pioneer days, but it is designed to give 
something in general of the pioneer band that located in various parts of the 
county, leaving much of detail for the different township histories. However, 
before entering into this task of outlining the first settlements in the county, 
it will be best to reproduce the views of Surveyor M. D. Buck, published in 
Brown's Gazetteer, in 1817, and also of the author of that work, after he had 
made a trip to the Wabash valley, both of whom we here quote and inter- 
weave : 

"Rocky river (Sugar creek) is one hundred yards wide, at its mouth, 
and has several large forks The bottoms bordering the Wabash are rich; 
wells have been sunk in them that showed a vegetable soil twenty-two feet 
deep, though the ordinary depth is from two to five feet. All the streams 
have spacious and fertile bottoms. The prairies in the vicinity of Fort Har- 
rison exceed for beauty and richness everything I ever beheld. The land 
sells very high near Fort Harrison, for it is the most delightful situation for 
a town on the Wabash. The Indians camp in the woods convenient to water, 
where they build wigwams. While sui-veying in the wilderness they appeared 
vei-y friendly, and offered us honey and venison. The woods abound with 
bears, wolves and wild turkeys. About three-eighths of the land we sur- 
veyed is excellent for most kinds of produce; the remainder is good for 
grazing, but too hilly, flat or wet for grain ( !) Wheat grows rank, but the 
grain is not as plump as in New York. The difficulty is, the land is too rich 
until improved ( !) Apple trees bear every year. Wheat is seventy-five 
cents a bushel. Flour is three dollars per hundred — four dollars delivered at 
Fort Harrison ; pork four dollars ; beef, the same ; butter and cheese, one to 
two shillings. European goods exorbitantly high. Ginseng grows on the 
bottoms to a perfection I never witnessed. Harrison's Purchase was first 


opened for sale at Jeffersonville, in September last [1816], and numerous 
tracts sold at from four to thirty dollars per acre. A section on the Wabash 
below Fort Harrison [now Terre Haute] sold at thirty-two dollars and eigh- 
teen cents per acre. The best proof of the excellence of these lands is the 
fact of their being the scene of numerous Indian population. Serpents are very 
numerous. Deer are mortal enemies of the rattlesnakes and often kill them 
by jumping upon them. It is also reported that the turkey buzzard has the 
power of killing the rattlesnake by its intolerable stench, which it most pow- 
erfully emits by a violent fluttering in the air a little above the snake's head." 

To definitely locate and name the first actual white settler in this county 
is now impossible. It is, however, known that the Dotys, Henrys and others 
had come up to the line of the Old Purchase at least as early as 18 18, possibly 
1817. It is known that James M. Doty settled on Henry's prairie in 1818, 
and is by many called Parke county's first settler. At about the same date 
came Judge Joseph Walker, who settled in what is now Florida township, 
near the present town of Numa. William D. Mitchell, so long and well known 
in Union township, was born in Raccoon in 1818, just after his parents ar- 
rived there. Mrs. Peggy Miller, whose maiden name was Robinson, came to 
Fort Harrison with her parents in 181 5, and was always sanguine that they 
moved into Parke county in 1818. James Kerr bought land in this county at 
the very earliest sales, either 1816 or 1817; but did not settle permanently 
till 1822. His wife always claimed that her family located in Parke county 
in 18 18. Many more claim that Dr. Taylor was the first permanent pioneer 
settler in the county, on the upper end of Henry's Prairie, and early in 181 7 
or 18 18. The true first settler will never be known, as no record was made 
of the coming of several families, all of whom constituted the first band of 
pioneers. It was certainly from among the families already mentioned. 

Among the strong men who followed up the army and studied the coun- 
try, was Capt. Andrew Brooks, Indian agent, trader and interpreter. He 
made numerous trips from Fort Harrison northward ; whether on the prairies 
of the southwestern border of Parke county or in the dense woods in the 
center of the county, he everywhere noted the local advantages; especially 
did he scan the localities favorable for a good mill site, and as early as 181 7 
(■possibly 1818) he set his eye on the bluff at the south bend of Big Raccoon. 
A year or so passed before he found a partner with capital sufficient to im- 
prove this water power, but fortunately he fell in with Chauncey Rose, at 
Fort Harrison, who became known as a distinguished pioneer and philan- 
thropist. He was born December 17, 1794, in Weathersfield, Connecticut, and 


when twenty-two years of age came to Indiana, reaching Fort Harrison 
(Terre Haute) early in 1817. An elder brother settled in Carolina, and 
advanced him some capital, and he had already shown his ability to acquire 
more, when he met Captain Brooks. They were kindred spirits and, together 
with Moses Robins, formed a partnership to establish a mill, store and dis- 
tillery on Big Raccoon. While the snow was yet on the ground they left 
Fort Harrison, in company with a friendly Indian, made their way to the 
location selected, and early in 1819 broke ground for a mill and named the 
place Roseville. 

About this time there were many of the shiftless, roaming type of men 
and women who came in and remained, as in all new countries, for a few 
years- and then passed on to newer, wilder sections where they might mingle 
with the Indians, hunt, fish and trap, and not be held in obedience to any civil 
law or custom. But of these settlers no account will here be made, as they 
were not in any sense county or state builders, but nomadic in style and habits. 

Meanwhile the business enterprise of the firm of Rose, Robins & Brooks 
had been completed and was running in full blast in 1819-20. The Indians 
came in from far and near to exchange their furs and meat for flour and 
whisky. Soon a second store was opened by Scott & Linton. Now came in 
a better, more stable class of settlers and made claim to much of the fine 
farming lands in the county. Just who was first to locate in the northern 
part of the county, no one seems able to tell, but certainly in 1819 there were 
several families, and in 1820 the following located in Florida and Raccoon : 
Judge Joseph Walker, James Henry and his fi\^e sons, John, James, Richard, 
Moses and William; John Doty, Samuel Adams, M'illiam Nevins and Jacob 
Bell. John Adams, David Evans and Boston Derr were the first to locate in 
the forks of the Raccoon. William Rea was first to locate on" Little Raccoon, 
above the forks; he came in 1820 to the northwest corner of section 7. in 
Raccoon township, not far from the present town of Catlin. John Sunder- 
land soon came in, as did Caleb Williams and Henry Greer. Many of these 
pioneers came in before the land was actually opened for settlement, and 
abided their time. The first land sales did not take place al>ove the "ten 
o'clock line" until 1820, and in the fall of that year, too. The records show 
that among the earliest to purchase lands here were : James Buchanan and 
Mr. Gilkinson, fathers of Alexander Buchanan and John C. Gilkinson, Esq.. 
and they bought, at Terre Haute, the same land on which their sons lived 
so many long years. Joseph Ralston came to Parke county in 1819 and 
settled near Kerr's springs, on Big Raccoon. He cut the date on an immense 
beech tree, and it remained legible for full forty years. 


Among the settlers north of the creek, and south of the line, were 
Dempsey Seybold, Dr. Taylor, John Prince, Samuel Prince, John Morrow 
and members of the Doty, Henry and Robinson families. These men all 
reared good sized and highly sturdy, intelligent families and became masters 
of the situation in after years in the development of Parke county. 

Major Ambrose Whitlock, government surveyor, reported his work 
finished in the New Purchase in the summer of 1820, after which a great 
immigration set in. from Vincennes and Terre Haute, settling up the valley 
of the Wabash to a goodly extent ; the Raccoon and its branches all gave up 
their virgin lands to settlers and permanent home-seekers. The paths, traces 
and blazed trails were alive with land-hunters and explorers ; Indians, 
traders, hunters and si)eculators, on foot and horseback, were all hunting out 
locations for themselves. The year 1821 saw a wonderful addition to the 
pioneer settlement in Parke and Vermillion counties. Perley Mitchell made 
the first entry in Penn township, in the Sugar creek and Walnut groves above 
Leatherwood. The rush lasted until the autumn of 1822. after which the 
advent of pioneers was more even and moderate. Thev had a little under- 
standing among themselves as to bidding on land, and if an outsider pre- 
sumed to over-bid them, he was usually instructed by "persuasion," generally 
heeded, to "move on." 

In the fine autumn days of 1822 — ninety years ago — the father of 
Squire Glass. John Glass, arrived on the Raccoon and halted a few days at 
the home of Reuben Webster, who had been a settler for two years on the 
creek about three miles below Bridgeton. There, in two weeks, Mr. Glass 
lost a fine mare, seven sheep and a valuable dog, all with milk-sickness. This 
was a common thing in early days. Then, too, the pioneer band had to 
struggle with the fever and ague for a number of years. Some could not 
withstand it and returned to the East, from whence they had emigrated. 
Many who sought lands at Terre Haute in the fall of that year were unaWe 
to secure the coveted lands in the bottoms, but as it turned out it was a stroke 
of good fortune for them, for they found the uplands and timbered sections 
to be even more valuable as the years passed by. Messrs. Glass, Jacob Miller, 
John Miller, and Thomas Woolverton started for Montgomery county, where 
there was already a good sized Kentucky settlement, but early in the day they 
chanced to meet a solitaiy horse-hunter who told them of a "mighty fine 
strip of black walnut land just about the divide between the two creeks." 
They went on and were charmed by its appearance, and ere the sun went down 
the next day they had selected lands in that favored s]30t. This was the 


opening of the New Discovery, as James Kelsey called it from this circum- 
stance, and as it is still known. Then began another great land-hunter's rush. 
These settlers did not see the well cultivated section that cheers and charms 
the passerby of today. All was one vast wild forest land, obstructed with 
tanglewood and thicket. In every fertile spot the peavine grew in tangled 
masses, cropped by the cattle, which frequently fattened upon this wild food 
alone. Elsewhere the spicewood choked the glade, while on the southern 
slopes and black-soiled bottoms the pawpaw thickets yielded up their sweets 
in great abundance. In many places the tangled woods were impassable, and 
the first settlers were sometimes days in cutting away the brush and trees in 
order to gain an entrance to the spots they had chosen for erecting their 
cabins. One writer says : "The Linn thicket, which now contains a good area 
of the best land in the county, was navigable for ducks from the spring thaw, 
often as late as July first. By following the windings of low lands, a goose 
could have swum' across a township in many seasons. But there were some 
compensations. Game was, of course, plenty, though beef and pork were called 
a luxury. An occasional bear was still found ; a few wild-cats lingered in the 
bottoms; deer and turkeys were on every hand abundant, and squirrels of all 
kinds thick enough to be a nuisance to farmers. Coons, 'possums, foxes, 
ground-hogs and wolves were common; the ugly looking porcupine was now 
and then found, and birds were twenty times as numerous as nowadays, and 
their songs were never sweeter." 

The old Indian trace from Fort Harrison to Fort Wayne bore north- 
east from the head of Henry's Prairie, keeping on the divide between the 
Big and Little Raccoon, and it was soon beaten into a road by eager home- 
seekers. By the middle of the summer of 1823 Abel Ball, John Jessuji, Henry 
Nevins, Joseph Wilkinson, Silas Harlan, John Blake, Nathan Blake. Charles 
Woolverton, John Burford, Benjamin Walters, Constantine Curry, Clem B. 
Burton, and probably twenty more, had settled in New Discovery ; and before 
the cold weather set in, there might have been seen a line of comfortable 
cabins and clearings even as far as Crawfordsville. May 13, 1823, there came 
a great time of excitement at the land office located at Crawfordsville. It 
was for the first pick of land; horses were run to death, men rode day and 
night in storms, swam swollen streams, and risked their own lives in many 
curious devices to reach the land-ofirce first or outwit a rival. The "witness 
trees" were well known, as the survey was but recent, and the man who first 
threw down the "numbers" on the counter and announced his claim got the 
land. In 1824-5 the Hollandsburg neighborhood was filled, and it is stated 


that in October, 1825, not a single piece of first class land remained untaken 
between there and Crawfordsville. Later, the lands were not bought and 
sold so readily, but it was soon found that many who took up the Linn 
thicket lands had made no mistake, for they proved rich and valuable. In 
passing, it should be said that after the first decade or so, while the virgin 
soil was being turned up to the sun's hot rays, especially in the autumnal 
months of each recurring year, things went well with the settlers, but during 
this first period of their sojourn here the fever and ague did great mischief 
and afflicted every family and sometimes every member of the household. 
By reason of this, great suffering had to be endured, for it is said that in that 
sickness people "want to die, but can't.'' But after the lands were broken 
up a few years, the decaying underbrush burned and the land with sluggish 
pools of water had been drained out, the country was one of beauty and enjoyed 
by a happy band of sturdy pioneers, who became the grandfathers and fathers 
of the generation just now passing. Indeed, these pioneers builded far better 
than they knew, and this the twentieth century is enjoying the fruits of their 
toils and self-sacrifices. 

"We love best the man that dares to do — 
The moral hero, stalwart through and through. 
Who treads the untried path, evades the rut; 
Who braves the virgin forest, builds a hut, 
Removes the tares encumbering the soil. 
And founds an empire based on thought and toil." 



The third Legislature of the state of Indiana, by an act approved Janu- 
ar}' 9, 1821, at the then capital of the state, Co.r}'don, organized Parke county, 
with what is now known as Vermillion county attached as a civil township 
for various purposes. The same day the Governor appointed Capt. Andrew 
Brooks sheriff, to serve until an election could be held, and James Blair 
coroner. On March 27th Dempsey Seybold and Joseph Walker were ap- 
pointed associate judges for the new county and M^allace Ray as clerk and 
recorder. May 30th John Skidmore and Joseph Ralston were commissioned 
justices, and all these were to act until after an election. William Clark was 
also appointed resident surveyor, but did not qualify, and Stephen Collett 
was appointed and served in his place. The first election for the new 
county was fixed for the first Monday in August, 1S21, when the polls were 
opened at the house of Richard Henry, on Henry's prairie, just above the 
county line. Judge Se3^bold and 'Scjuire Ralston (Organized the poll. Judge 
James Barnes acted as judge of the election, and what happened in way of 
troulde is briefly narrated elsewhere in this A-olume. 

At the date above mentioned the county was supposed tn ha\-e a voting 
population of four hundred, and commissioners were sent to locate a perma- 
nent county seat. This commission was made up of Gen. Joseph Orr, Gen. 
Arthur Patterson and Col. Thomas Smith, the last named later becoming the 
well-known Indian agent. There were here, as in all new counties, a rivalry 
as to who should secure the county seat. The commissioners were exidently 
well and favorably impressed with the Buchanan vicinity, near the present 
town of Judson, but were urged to visit Thomas Gilkeson's place, on the 
Raccoon, before deciding. While at his place the commissioners were invited 
by Messrs. Ray, Hand and Simmons to visit another spot, which brought 
them up at Ray's tavern, in what is now Rockville, on a dark, gloomy morn- 
ing early in the month of February, 1824. The commissioners were wet. 
weary and miserably fatigued, but were royally entertained by Mr. Ray, the 
landlord. Just what inducements were offered, aside from the steaming 
breakfast of which they all partook freely, none can conjecture, but before 


another twenty- four hours had rolled around, the county seat of Parke county 
was located at Rockville, and to seal the act a bottle of aged whisky was 
properly emptied, after which the bottle was broken upon the big rock on the 
highest point of the site, and thus was legally baptized the town-to-be, the 
county seat, Rockville. 

The temporary seat of county government, however, had been at Rose- 
ville first, and next at Armiesburg, and two courts had been held at the last 
named place, at least. The county seat was permanently fixed at Rockville 
in 1822. No buildings suitable for the offices and court were provided, how- 
ever, until 1824. Sixty votes were cast at the first election in this county, 
that of 1821. There was only one voting precinct. The county clerk's office, 
with the records, was burned in the fall of 1832, and an act of the Legislature 
made the justices of the peace county commissioners. The first board meet- 
ing after the fire of 1832 was in January, 1833, at which they ordered re- 
pairs and a reproduction of the county records, as far as it was possible. 
In 1844, the law was changed and from then on the county commissioners 
were elected instead of appointed. The first board was Tobias Miller, James 
W. Beadle and Nathan Evans. 


In spite of the fact that the law for the formation of Parke county re- 
quired the erection of necessary public buildings within twelve months after 
the location of the county seat, none were begun until two years afterward. 
A court house and jail were finished in June, 1826. The court house was a 
spacious log structure, built on the south side of the present public square, 
and served the double use of a house of worship and a temple of justice 
until it was superseded by the brick court house and the brick school house. 
The old jail served until 1858, when it was burned, but in reality it had been 
unfit for a public building for several years before its final destruction. The 
jail, which was also built of logs, stood on lot No. 59, just across the rail- 
road track and to the northwest of where later stood the old brick jail. Pio- 
neer Ray donated forty acres to the county, on which the public square and 
business houses are located today, and his partner. Hand, gave twenty acres, 
and Patterson and McCall, the other town site founders, gave twenty acres. 
It should be recalled that in the beginning, Andrew Ray, Aaron Hand and 
James McCall joined in conveying one hundred acres of land to Parke county. 
This was conditioned on the permanent location of the seat 'of justice at 
Rockville, a deed over which there was much litigation in after years when 


the people sought to remove the seat of justice to Bloomingdale. Thomas 
Smith, one of the commissioners to locate the county seat, was also ap- 
pointed by the governor to lay out and properly plat the newly located county 
town, which he at once* proceeded to execute. The last of April he began to 
advertise, and June i6 and 17, 1824, cried the sale of lots in Rockville. He 
sold on commission plan and almost "cried" in reality over the few lots sold 
and the very low prices which he was compelled to sell them for. Lot No. i, 
on the northeast corner of town, was sold to James Strain, Sr. The county 
officers soon removed to "town" and three or four lawyers, of which it is 
related many believed young Joseph Van Meter was the brightest, but it ap- 
pears he never made good in the great conflict of life and was never heard of 
save for a short sojourn here. 


Parke county's first court house was the rude, but good sized, log struc- 
ture built in 1826, which served until 1829, when a contract was let to 
Matthew Stewart, against great opposition, to build a new court house. 
County orders were worth only fifty cents on a dollar, and it was thought the 
whole county would soon become bankrupt. But the wheels of time revolved 
and the brick court house was completed in 1832, and sei-ved the county until 
1879, when it was torn down by Isaac McFaddin. The old brick jail, built 
at that time, served (longer than it ought to have been tolerated) until 1858, 
when it was burned. The picture of the old brick court house shows it to 
have been a good structure for its day and served well the uses for which it 
was originally intended. 

On December 3, 1878, the county auditor was authorized to advertise 
for plans for a new court house and a jail. These bids were opened January 
29, 1879, ^"d there were found to be fifteen of them. It took until March 
20th to settle the question of which plans were the best and most acceptable. 
Those furnished by T. J. Tolan & Son, of Fort Wayne, were selected and an 
order issued causing bonds to be floated in the sum of $100,000 to meet the 
payments on such public buildings. Then bids were asked for the construc- 
tion of the proposed buildings. On May i, 1879, the bids were opened and 
it was found that the highest bid was that of $78,250 and the lowest was 
$68,800, but the lowest bidder could not furnish sufficient bonds and it was 
awarded to the next lowest bid, of $68,900, which was that of William H. 
Myers, who, it was later found out, was a relative and co-worker with the 


iron compan)- and the architect of Fort \A'ayne. Under this contract made 
by the county boai'd and Myers, the work proceeded until the autumn of iS8o, 
when he had collected more from the county, really, than was his due, and a 
difficulty arose, the result of which was that Myers abandoned the work and 
the county went ahead, under a superintendent, George W. Collings, and 
finished the buildings. Myers had been paid $58,836.07 when he quit. The 
cornerstone was laid September 11, 1879, under Masonic rites. This stone 
bears the following inscription: "County Commissioners, Zachariah Byers, 
Mahalon M. Marshall, William Carmichael. John B. Connelly, Auditor. T. 
J. Tolan & Son, Architects. W. H. Myers, Builder. September 11, 1879." 

It now appears that the two dates found over the north entrance — "1879- 
80" — is a mistake. The building was not completed in 1880, but in 1882. 
It is supposed that Myers, the contractor, had these stones cut and intended 
to complete the court house by sometime in 1880, as contracted for, and for 
some unknown reason this "1880" stone was allowed to be placed in the front 
wall — possibly the work had progressed as far as the setting of this stone 
before the contractor Myers quit. The court house cost the county in round 
figures $110,000, with heating plant. The brick jail, on the opposite side of 
the square, cost about ten thousand more. Both are still in good condition 
and fine buildings. The court house is a fine stone structure, of fine styled 
architecture and modern in most of its appointments. A splendid clock and 
bell were added later, costing about $1,500. The final day of dedication 
was at hand and, despite the bad weather, the assembly was \'ery great. It 
was on Washington's birthday, February 22, 1882. S. D. Puett was chair- 
man of the day. Exercises opened by singing "Praise Goil From \Miom All 
Blessings Flow." Rev. W. Y. Allen then read the Ten Commandments and 
offered prayer. Hon. Thomas N. Rice was orator of the occasion, and 
speeches were made by others, on "The Bench and Bar," and also on the 
county officials, past and present. The president of the day was Col. E. M. 
Benson; vice-presidents, Zachariah Byers, William Carmichael, M. W. Mar- 
shall, O. P. Brown, J. D. Collings, George Mater. Numerous speeches were 
made during the forenoon, afternoon and evening. 

Within the corner-stone of the present court house were deposited, 
under direction of the Masonic lodge that had charge of the stone-laying, 
these articles : A copy of the by-laws and historical records of Parke Lodge 
No. 8, and of No. 37; various papers belonging to the various lodges and 
societies in Parke county; also a history of the lodge known as Silliman 
Lodge of Knights of Pythias, with its charter, and those of the Masonic and 


Odd Fellows lodges; a list of all lodges in the county; copies of the Rockville 
papers, including that of the Tribune of September ii, 1879, Rockville Re- 
publican of September 10, 1879, the Monteztnna Era; blank notes of the First 
National Bank; small quantities of grain of each variety grown in Parke 
county; postage stamps of all denominations; American and foreign coins; 
business cards of the business men of Rockville; brief account of the old 
court house, with a photograph of the building; names of county commis- 
sioners; photograph of the residence of A. K. Stark, and other objects of 
historic interest; statistics of Parke county for 1878 and a copy of the inter- 
esting address of Dr. Thomas Rice, on the occasion of corner-stone laying. 


The receipts and expenditures of Parke county for the year ending June 
I, 1855, were as follows: Receipts, from show licenses, $50; county revenue 
for 1854, $10,341; township tax for 1854, $2,534; road tax collected for 
1854, $160; cost of printing, $265; other items, making a total of $13,569. 
The expenditures for the same period were: Keeping the poor, $1,347; 
assessing revenue, $545; county officers, $2,427; cost of printing, $320; 
keeping prisoners, $355; books and stationery, $238; bailiffs' fees, $316; jury- 
fees, $785; insane persons, $49; public buildings, $250; fuel, $13; election 
expenses, $17; bridges, $2,015; township tax, $2,534; road tax, $120; total, 
$11,753. Total of the county's receipts were, that year, $13,569. 

In the month of February, 1912, the treasurer's books showed the fol- 
lowing exhibit in the funds in the county : 

Disbursed. On Hand. 

County Revenue $ 58,522 $17,946 

Principal, Common 6,896 2,168 

Congressional 1,348 173 

Endowment 1,275 28 

Interest, Common 2,664 245 

Congressional 2,086 643 

Endowment 374 360 

Fines and Forfeitures 615 180 

Bonds for construction gravel roads 37,946 37,098 

Redemption of Gravel road bonds 57'7S?) 9-302 

Show License 20 

Liquor License 4,000 

Township Tax i4,992 2,443 



Local Tuition $ 5^.705 $ 9-334 

Special School 59,^6o 11,095 

Road 7<i^i 77 

Common School Revenue 30,635 891 

Library 146 4 

Special School Building 4-1-5 79 

Corporation 8,493 116 

Water Works 2,034 

Electric Lights ^,127 34 

Cemetery 233 13 

Clay Plant 618 11 

Park 102 6,892 

Gravel Road Repairs ' 23,125 

Totals $387,190 $99,332 

The above serves to show many things connected with the county at this 
date — the schools, gravel roads, fines and general financial affairs. 


The following shows the personal and real estate assessed valuations by 
townships and corporations : 

Adams Township $1,250,500 Howard Township $ 438,025 

Washington Township — , 907,760 Rockville (Corporation) 1,058,600 

Sugar Creek Township 354,395 JNlarshall (Corporation) _'_ 164,810 

Liberty Township 812,110 Montezuma (Corporation) 420,888 

Reserve Township 718,235 Rosedale (Corporation) 315,010 

Wabash Township 787,555 Diamond (Corporation) __ 68,930 

Florida Township 1,324,155 Bloomingdale (Corpora- 
Raccoon Township 958,720 tion) 181,945 

Jackson Township 496,520 Judson (Corporation) 28,010 

Union Township 838,630 

Greene Township 1,005,580 

Penn Township 617,775 Total $12,798,240 


Be it said to the credit of Parke county, that it has never had a great 
burden on account of its unfortunate poor, and for this expense the people 


have never given of taxes begrudgingly. For many years after the organiza- 
tion of the county each township looked after its own paupers, but of more 
recent years the system of caring for such charges has been changed to what 
in Indiana is styled a county asylum, located near the county seat, where con- 
venient buildings, and a farm which is nearly self-supporting is employed for 
the safe and humane keeping of those who by reason of old age or misfortune 
have been thrown upon the people for support. The present superintendent 
■of this institution in Parke county, E. M. Carter, reported in May, 19 12, that 
the asylum then had twenty-two inmates, mostly men, too aged for work. 
During the three months just before the 30th of last May, thirty-four persons 
had been admitted to this asylum and twelve had been discharged from it. 
At that date there was on hand in the fund for the maintenance of the institu- 
tion, $148.80, and $197.90 had been paid out at the asylum in the quarter 
ending when such report was filed with the county auditor. Hence it will be 
seen that there are not many paupers within the county's charge, and that no 
tax-payer is heavily burdened on their account. Indeed most everyone feels 
it a duty and pleasure to aid in making life comfortable to these few un- 

Sometime prior to the Civil war, the county deemed it wise to purchase 
a farm near the county seat, and there care for her poor. This was carried 
out and a building erected less than three miles from the court house. This 
served until the present thirty-thousand-dollar buildings were constructed. . 
Here every care possible is taken of the unfortunate inmates. The property 
is looked after by the superintendent, under the watch-care of the county com- 


An early term of Parke county court indicted six persons and fined them 
for gaming; six for profane language; one for retailing spirituous liquors; one 
for giving a friend whisky at camp-meeting; two for illegal voting. At an- 
other term, twenty-four men were indicted and fined from one to ten dollars 
for betting small amounts "just to make it more interesting." 



Owing to the disastrous fire of November, 1832, many of the earl)- rec- 
ords of this county were destroyed, hence there are some facts lacking con- 
cerning the election, appointment and terms of the early-day public officials, 
but the following is almost a complete list of those who have served, and in 
the order in which thej' were elected or appointed to office: 


1823 — Thomas Blake. 
1825 — Joseph M. Hayes. 

1835 — General George K. Steele. 

1843 — ^James Kerr. 

1845-6 — William R. Nofsinger. 

1848 — John J. Meacham. 

1849 — Samuel H. Johnston. 

1850 — Gabriel Houghman. 

185 1— E. S. Holladay. 

1852 — George K. Steele. 

1854 — Levi Sidwell. 

1856 — George K. Steele. 

1858 — Samuel H. Johnston. 

i860 — George G. Grain. 

1862— Col. Casper Budd. 

1864— Thomas N. Rice. 

1866 — Walter C. Donaldson. 

1868 — James T. Johnston. 
1870-72 — John E. Woodard. 
1874-76 — Daniel Thomas. 
1878— Robert Kelly. 
1880— Ira H. Gillum. 
1882— William Knowles. 
1884— William N. Aiken. 
1886-88— George Hobson. 
1890-92 — Jeremiah Morris. 
1894-96 — Albert M. Adams. 
1896-98 — Albert M. Adams. 
1 898- 1900 — Elias H. Owens. 
1900-04 — Elias H. Owens, died. 

— John R. Johnston. 
1904-06 — ^John R. Johnston. 
1908— Jacob S. \\'hite. 
1910 — Jacob S. White. 
igi2 — George ^^'. Spencer, Jr. 


1821-1833 — Wallace Rea. 
1833 — Joseph Potts. 
1833-50 — John G. Davis. 

1850-51 — Joseph B. Cornelius. 
1851-60 — George W. Thompson. 
1860-68— Samuel Magill. 



868-76— John F. D. Hunt. 
876-84 — David Strause. 
884-88— Madison Keeney. 
888-92— Jesse H. McCoy. 
892-96^153,30 L. Wimmer. 

1896-1900 — John E. Harshbarger. 
1900-04 — Charles D. Renick. 
1904-08 — ^Ewing Chapman. 
1908-12 — George L. Laney. 
19 1 2- — Randolph J. Cummings. 


I82I- - 

-Captain Andrew Brooks. 


—Christian Steinbaugh 

1824- - 

—Henry Anderson. 

1874-78 — George B. Chapman. 

1825-7 - 

—Isaac J. SiUman. 


— Zimri D. Maris. 


-William T. Noel. 

1882-8^-John R. Musser. 

1833- - 

-John G. Davis. 

1886-90— Ed. Nicholas. 


-William Kilgore. 


—George S. Jones. 


—Aaron Hart. 

1894-96— William D. Mull. 


—James Youman. 

1896- - 

—Barton W. Dooley. 


—Gabriel Houghman. 

1898- - 

—Perry E. Benson. 


-James W. Beadle. 

1900- - 

—Perry E. Benson. 


—David Kirkpatrick. 

1902- - 

-T. E. Aydelotte, 


—Abraham Darroch. 

1904- - 

-E. M. Carter. 


—George B. Inge. 

1906- - 

-E. M. Carter. 

1865-7 - 

—James Phelon. 

1908- - 

— Roliert J. Finney. 

1867- - 

—Jesse Partlow. 

1910- - 

—Robert J. Finney. 


-Nerval W. Cummings. 

1912- - 

-Edward D. Nicholas. 


The county clerk ex-officio was recorder until 1833, when the separate 
office of recorder was created. It was changed again to a combined ofifiice 
till 1848. 

1821-33 — Wallace Rea. 
1833 — James G. Davis. 
1833-34 — Duncan Darroch. 
1852 — ^Joseph B. Cornelius. 
1853-57 — Samuel Fisher. 
1857-65— F. W. Dinwiddle. 
1866 — James M. Thomas. 

1870-74 — Elwood Hunt. 
1874-82— William J. White. 
1882-90— Henry B. Cord. 
1891-98 — Charles E. Lambert. 
1898-06 — Daniel J. Chapin. 
1906-12 — Carl Rutter. 




Prior to August 9, 1841, the work devolving 
was laid upon the duties of the county clerk. 

1841-58 — Joseph Potts. 
1858-62— L. A. Foote. 
1862-66— George P. Daly. 
1866-74— John H. Tate. 
1874-82 — Jesse B. Connelly. 
1882-86— Edwin F. Hadley. 

on what is now the auditor 

-Samuel T. Catlin. 
-Elias H. Owen. 
-Stephen \. Pike. 
-Henry Gubb. 
-H. A. Henderson. 

1910 — James E. Elder. 


The sheriff collected all taxes from the beginning of the county govern- 
ment down to 1833, when the office of treasurer was established. 

1833 —Hugh J. Bradley. 1880- 

1834-8 —Austin M. Puitt. 1884- 

— Erastus M. Benson. 1888- 

1841-1859 — Aaron Hart, Miles Hart, 1891- 

Samuel Hart, Charles 1893- 

Grant and John R. 1896- 

Miller. 1898- 

1859-63 — Washington Hadley. 1900- 

1873-67 — John T. Campbell. 1904- 

1876-72 — John H. Lindley. 1906- 

1872-76 — X. W. Cummings. 1908- 

1876-8CH-F. W. Dinwiddle. 

84 — James X. McCampbell. 
88— Isaac A. Pickard. 
90 — James X. Dinwiddle. 
93 — X". W. Cummings. 
96 — Moses T. Kelly. 
98 — Thomas D. Byers. 
1900 — William Rawlings. 
04 — George Bronson. 
06 — Edward Bradfield. 
08 — Edward Bradfield. 
12 — George W. Spencer. 


Among the coroners who have served in Parke county may be given these : 

1 82 1 -5 — Truman Ford. 
1825 — James Nesmith. 
1827 — Stephen Flemming. 
1831-33 — Samuel H. Johnston. 

— Charles Nugent. 
1835-37— Hugh J- Bradley. 

1837-39 — William M. Brooks. 
1839-43 — James J. Roberts. 
1844-45 — Hugh S. Comingore 

—Randall H. Burk. 
1846-49 — Solomon Pinegar. 
1849 — Johnson S. White. 


Others — Christopher Hensel, Mat- Theodore H. Johnson ( col- 

thew Gilkeson, Daniel ored), Squire Glass, Hiram 

Mater, John Alexander, Ed. Newlin, A. Morris, John 

Brown, James Jacobs, Will- A. Musser, Hiram E. New- 

iam Mains, James M. Cox, lin, Chas. W. Overpeck, 

John Aydollett, William Thomas J. CoUings, Will- 

Knowles (colored), Omer iam J. Pease, Peare. Col- 
O. Hall, Robert J. Fyrt'e, . lins. 


This office was created in 1891, by act of the Legislature. The first to 
hold the office in Parke county was Stephen A. Pike, appointed in June, 1891, 
and who served until November of that year. 

1891 — Samuel Coble. 1906 — Stephen A. Pike. 

1900 — Charles E. McDaniel. 1910 — Stephen A. Pike. 


Among the various surveyors in Parke county have been the following : 
Jeremiah H. Siler, Enos C. Siler, William H. Nye, John T. Campbell, Claud 
Ott, Alfred Hadley, whose deputy was a Mr. Demare, who had the field- 
notes of the whole county in his house, when all were burned, causing the 
county a great loss. Later surveyors have been : Claud Ott, John A. Camp- 
bell, Arthur Pickett, James E. Phillips, Henry Davis. 

The first court held in Parke county was at the house of Samuel Blair, in 
Rosedale, where it continued to be held until a suitable place could be pro- 
vided at the county seat. The first associate judges were Samuel Steele, 
1826; James McSmith, 1827. The judges of the circuit court were: Isaac 
Naylor, 1833; associates. Judges Robert Mitchell and D. Seybold. In 1838, 
E. M. Huntington: associates, R. H. Wedding, W. C. Donaldson. 1842, Will- 
iam P. Bryant: same associates as before. 1844, John Law; associates, Alex- 
ander Kirkpatrick, W. C. Donaldson. 1850, S. B. Gookins; associates, A. 
Kirkpatrick and Samuel Case. 1851, D. R. Eckles; same associates as before. 
In 1852 the office of associate judge was abolished. The judge next to serve 
was W. P. Bryant. 1858, John M. Cowan; 1867, C. Y. Patterson: 1873. 


Samuel C. Wilson; 1879, William P. Britten, Albert D. Wilson having serxed 
just after Judge Wilson for a short term. The next judge was Joshua J. 
Jump, succeeded by Ared F. White, Gould G. Rheuby, Charles W. \Vard, 
William C. Wait, Jr., Barton Aikxnan. 


From 1853 to 1873 existed what was styled the court of common pleas. 
The judges in Parke county were: Hons. John R. Porter, 1853 ; S. F. Max- 
well, 1853; C. Y. Patterson, 1861 ; S. F. Maxwell. 1865; 1869, John T. 
Scott, who was in office when the position was abolished. 


From 1829 to 1853 there was the office of probate judge in Indiana, and 
in Parke county the gentlemen who served as such judges were Joseph Potts; 
Daniel M. Morris, 1834; T. S. Baldwin, 1834; John Marshall, 1844 to 1853. 


The attorneys practicing at the Parke county bar in the autumn of 1912 
were as follows: Ared F. White, Albert M. Adams, J. M. Johns, S. F. 
Max Puett, Clarence G. Powell, J. C. Buchanan, S. F. McGuinn, D. J. 
Chapin, George W. Bell, W. T. Fink, Elwood Hunt, Howard Maxwell, 
Howard Hancock, Roy W. Thompson, Tenbrook McCarty, F. M. McLaugh- 
lin, R. C. McDivitt, Chas. E. Lambert, H. A. Henderson, Earl Dowd, Henry 
Daniels, David Strouse, J. S. McFaddin, Frank Strouse, J. S. White, C. E. 
Newlin, Clyde Riggs, Will G. Bennett, J. M. Neet, Carrie Hyde. 

The court officers were: Barton S. Aikman, judge; George L. Laney, 
clerk ; Leonora Gleason, deputy ; W. A. Satterlee, prosecutor ; Robert J. Fin- 
ney, sheriff; Marion Grubb, deputy; W. T. Fink, deputy. 



Over the great questions of state's rights and slavery, the Civil war 
finally was commenced, for all time, prohably, to settle these questions on 
the American continent, and set, as it were, a guide-board to all foreign 
nations, powers and kingdoms, that they, too, might learn that men (black- 
er white, red or copper colored) are endowed with certain inalienable rights, 
including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It took four long years 
of blood-shed to settle this question. Sword and powder finally settled it, 
once for all, that the nation is and always must stand above its individual 
states and territories. In the settlement of this question, the settlement of 
the slave traflic was also settled, by the Emancipation Proclamation signed 
by President Lincoln, primarily as a war measure, hence with no recompense 
to the slave owners for their property in the slaves they held. Had they 
laid down their arms in 1862, a different page might have been given to' the 
history of the fair Southland. 

In the opening months of 1861, however, Parke county only felt these 
truths darkly: and as late as January 23d of that year, no less ardent a patriot 
than John T. Campbell published in the Republican, of Rockville, a well- 
written letter advocating peaceable secession : but at the same time from all 
quarter? of the county came reports of public meetings, where men of all 
parties pledged themselves to sacrifice life and property, if need be, for the 
preservation of the Union. But these sentiments changed, or rather crystal- 
lized the sentiment in the county, after the famous speech of that great patriot 
and statesman. Governor Oliver P. Morton, in which he laid down the prin- 
ciple that the nation had the constitutional right to fight for its existence, 
though its enemies in certain states objected, and that, if necessary, they had 
the right to coerce the rebellious states. While the public mind was in this 
state the rebels struck the first blow, and Indiana's response was immediate 
and enthusiastic. On April 12, 1 861, Fort Sumter was attacked; .'Kpril 13th, 
it was compelled to surrender: April 14th, President Lincoln called for 
75,000 volunteers, and April i6th, as soon as the news had reached Parke 
county, its men "arose as one man," ]iracticalh-. to assert their devotion to 


the Starry flag of freedom and Union. On Tuesday, the i6th, the people 
came together as by one common impulse, and hundreds of young and mid- 
dle-aged men vowed to die, if need be, for the Union of States. No re- 
cruiting officer arrived until the 17th, when a mass-meeting was called. 
Charles E. Adamson, a typesetter on the Rockvillc Republican, reached the 
stand first and enrolled his name, the first in Rockville, but the first to enroll 
from Parke county was G. H. Hansel, who walked from this county to Brazil, 
where, two hours before young Adamson had enrolled, he had signed the 
sheet at Brazil, making him the first of this county's brave men to offer his 
services to the country. Young Hansel lived at Bridgeton, and to him must 
be given this honor. This matter was settled by the two men after their 
return from the war, when the day and hour of the enrollment was investi- 
gated and agreed upon, as above narrated. Following the enrollment of 
young Adamson, were entered the names of W. N. Painter, R. R. Smith, J". 
F. Meacham, Zach Garrett, E. M. Foote, I. E. Wright, Dan. A. Anderson, 
George Sanderson, Jim Steele, J. A. Wilson, Jacob Neron, Samuel L. Comp- 
ton, William S. Coleman, James R. Painter. John A. Pike, David Byers, 
James R. Hollowell, W. N. Ralston and Jobe Graves. These left the next 
(lay for Indianapolis, there to learn, with surprise, that out of the number 
only fifteen were accepted upon physical examination; but later in the war, 
when the government wanted and needed men, they were not so critical and 
so particular, even if a man's body had some little defect, if he was able to 
load a musket and march in defense of Old Glory. Then it was that many 
of these first rejected men, who had not sulked, but waited their time, were 
able to enlist and march with older soldiers from Parke county commands. 
The men who were accepted at Indianapolis were assigned to Company C, 
Eleventh Indiana Regiment, commanded by the now late Gen. Lew Wallace, 
and took part in the three-months campaign in West Virginia, as the terri- 
tory is now understood, l)ut then a part of Old Virginia. They participated 
in the battles of Phillipi and Laurel Hill, and drove the rel^els from that 
territory. J. H. Hollowell, one of the boys from Parke county of a scouting 
squad of eleven, fought in the bloody battle of Kelley's Island, in which they 
opposed fifty Confederate soldiers, upon whom the eleven had suddenly 
come. It was surrender, and then probably sudden death or long captivity, 
unless they could fight their way out. Their decision was prompt, and 
worthy of brave men — they fought. From tree to tree, firing at every 
opportunity and dropping a man at almost every shot, they fought their way 
iMit. pnd r:;nii' nff with the loss (^f h'lt two men Hollowell shot down two 


men, then, coming in close quarters, clubbed his gun and disabled two more ; 
again fired, with the stock of his gun almost off, and again brought down his 
man. Of the enemy, he certainly killed three and possibly two more. From 
accounts published by J. H. Beadle in 1880 and by Isaac R. Strouse in 1896, 
the following has been largely compiled : 


The first full company that left Rockville was on May 8, 1861. They 
went to Camp Vigo, Terre Haute. It was composed of the veiy best young 
men of the community. Its officers were: L. A. Foote, captain; Thomas 
Williams, first lieutenant; T. A. Howard, second lieutenant; Robert Catter- 
son, orderly sergeant. At the same time Captain Wheat enrolled forty men 
in Rockville, and the remainder of the company in Rosedale. Captain 
Foote's company became A of the Fourteenth Indiana, and voted to go into 
the service for three years, on May 25, 1861, three days before the order of 
the war department which organized the three-year regiments. On June 8th, 
the day after the company was mustered, the ladies in Rockville gave a din- 
ner at Camp Vigo, to Company A, and Captain Foote was then presented 
with a sword, the speech of presentation being made by T. N. Rice. Before 
these men left Terre Haute, G. W. McCune, of Rockville, was appointed 
assistant surgeon of the regiment and Nathan II. Kimball commissioned 
colonel. They left Camp Vigo, June 25, 1861, for Indianapolis, and were 
sent from there direct to the seat of war in Virginia. .Vfter serving some 
months. Captain Foote and Lieutenant Howard resigned ; Lieutenant Bost- 
wick was killed at Antietam and at Fredericksburg Captain Kelley was killed. 
Lieutenant Baker's leg was shot off. The command of the company was 
then given to Joshua L. Hayes, who had enlisted as a private. From the 
start the regiment made an enviable record, and Company A was second to 
none in the army. In the fight, camp or march they were always true repre- 
sentatives of an ideal American soldier of the volunteer type, which Gen- 
eral Logan contended was the best soldier the country had. They partici- 
pated in the battles of Greenbrier, Winchester, Antietam, Fredericksburg, 
Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, Wilderness, Cold Harbor. At the 
latter place they were ordered to Indianapolis and mustered out, having 
served three years. Those who veteranized were transferred to the Twen- 
tieth Regiment and remained until the end of the war. 



Capt. John T. Campbell, who was rejected from the Fourteenth on ac- 
count of the want of teeth, came home and immediately began raising a com- 
pany. The men at Annapolis, on June 30th, elected John T. Campbell, cap- 
tain; Thomas Bryant, first lieutenant; James Connelly, second lieutenant; and 
William P. Wimmer, adjutant. The company was composed of intelligent, 
fine looking men, under thirty years of age. They received orders to report 
at Indianapolis, and left Rockville, July 5th. The)- were assigned to Colonel 
McMillen's Twenty-first Regiment, and became Company H. From Indi- 
anapolis they went direct to Baltimore, where they remained during the winter 
and in the spring moved by water for Newport Xews, there embarking on the 
ship "Constitution" for Ship Island, and became a part of the Army of the 
Gulf, under General Butler, which had for its object the capture of New 
Orleans. Leaving Ship Island, they were sent to New- Orleans, after the fall 
of Jackson and Phillipi. During their service as infantry their duty was of 
the most dangerous character, being employed to dislodge rebels from the 
swamps and bayous of Louisiana, and they were constantly fighting the 
enemy. The company took part in the battle of Baton Rouge, and signally 
distinguished itself, suffering severe losses. In this fight Captain Campbell 
was wounded and, to the regret of his men, had to leave the service. After 
the battle of Baton Rouge the regiment became the First Heavy Artillery and 
Company H became noted for the remarkable accuracy of its gunners, doing 
very effective service at the seige of Port Hudson. It has been said that 
Company H contained the best gunners in all that department of the army. 
In the disastrous expedition up Red river, this company bore an active part 
in repelling the repeated attacks of pursuing rebels. After their return, the 
most of the regiment having veteranized, they went to New- Orleans and soon 
after took an active part in the Mobile campaign, which resulted in the cap- 
ture of Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines, and finally in the surrender of the city 
itself, with an immense amount of ordnance and three hundred cannon. The 
company went to Baton Rouge and were there detained till January 13, 1866, 
when they received their final discharge. 


This was the little company of men raised by Fred Arn and William H. 
Beadle. They rendezvoused at the Fair grounds in Montezuma, where, on 
August 6th, they elected Fred Arn, captain; W. H. Beadle, first lieutenant, 


and Dr. Richard Waterman, second lieutenant. They left Monte/Aima Aug- 
ust 19th, and before leaving were presented with a beautiful flag by the ladies 
of the place, Hon. T. N. Rice presenting it on behalf of the ladies. Arriving 
at Terra Haute, they were kept in Camp Vigo till September 21st, then ordered 
to Evansville, where they drew their rifles and went to Kentucky. During 
the long and dreary winter they suffered from sickness, being stationed at 
Calhoun, Kentucky. This winter was the hardest of their campaigning. In 
February they went to Fort Donelson and gallantly fought through that bloody 
battle. The next fight was Shiloh, in which the gallant Arn, then a major, 
was killed. His body was returned home and buried at Montezuma by the 
Masonic fraternity. This company stood unflinchingly while the battle raged 
hottest in front of Murfreesboro and went down to "the Valley of Death" 
at Chickamauga. They were made veterans January i, 1864, and came home 
on a furlough, returning in time for the brilliant Atlanta campaign. They 
took part in the battles of Resaca and Kenesaw mountain and were in that 
awful slaughter at Jonesboro, below Atlanta, which ended that historic cam- 
paign. When Hood made his desperate raid back upon Nashville, they were 
sent with the division to overtake him and engaged in the battle of Nashville. 
The company was mustered out December 8, 1865. 


At the breaking out of the war a company was organized and called the 
"Penn Guards.'' George Harvey proposed that they go into the United 
States volunteer service, whereupon fifteen at once declared their wish to 
volunteer. Recruiting began at once and was aided by James Hollowell and 
William Geiger of Rockville. They organized and elected Harvey captain; 
Geiger, first lieutenant, and Hollowell, second lieutenant, the latter later be- 
coming colonel of his regiment. This company was mustered into the Thirty- 
first Regiment and became Company I. At the battle of Pittsburg Landing, 
Captain Harvey was severely wounded and while being carried from the field 
was shot through the head and instantly killed. His remains were brought 
back to Rockville and escorted to his father's house, two miles north of town, 
by the Rockville Union Guards. The citizens of the place asked permission 
of his family to bury Captain Harvey in the cemetery at Rockville, which was 
granted. Over his grave was erected a befitting monument, telling how he 
fought and died that the country might live. The history of Company I, as 
to the engagements in which it took part, is the same as Company A. Both 


companies, after the battle of Nashville, were transferred to the Army of 
Occupancy in Texas, and mustered out on December 8, 1865. 


John Callender raised this company, aided by \Villiam S. Magil, William 
Sweeney, V. P. Bonsell and Samuel Garrigus. The company collected at 
Terre Haute and it was decided not to hold an election of officers until it was 
completed. At the election held at Camp Vigo, Tuesday, October 29th, John 
Callender was chosen captain; W. S. Magil, first lieutenant; G. H. Hensel, 
second lieutenant. As soon as the citizens heard of the election, a fine sword 
was presented Lieutenant Magil, who acknowledged the compliment by a card 
published in the Parke County Republican. Company K was presented with 
a handsome flag by the patriotic ladies of Rockwell, which flag was sent to 
the town later, with appropriate ceremonies. July 4, 1865, General Steele 
was commissioned colonel of the regiment, which took its departure for Ken- 
tucky, November 17, 1861 and, were located for a while at Spottsville, but 
soon sent to Calhoun, where they remained until February, 1862. Company 
K engaged in the work of true soldiers and. suffered some, but fared better in 
health than other commands, owing to the extra time and expense used by 
Colonel Steele to take good care of his men and their surroundings. But 
later, while this company was on duty along the Mississippi river, it suffered 
much from sickness, as did other soldiers of that department. Colonel Steele 
resigned January 17, 1862, which act was deeply regretted by his men. The 
other officers of the regiment petitioned him and passed resolutions of regret 
and desired him to remain in the service, but his health would not permit. 
The company was transferred to the Department of the Mississippi and most 
of its service was along that stream. They were with the Forty-third Regi- 
ment, the first Union soldiers to enter Memphis, after the war began. From 
Memphis they were sent to Arkansas, participating in the battle of Helena, 
July 4th, doing some excellent fighting. This regiment captured a full rebel 
regiment of greater numbers than the Forty-third. .\t Little Rock they re- 
enlisted as veterans and were sent home on a furlough. They returned to 
Indianapolis and were never sent to the front, but guarded rebel prisoners 
until mustered out, July 14, 1865. 



This command was raised by Captain Thompson, of Evansville, In- 
diana, who recruited about forty men in Parke county. The remainder of 
the battery was enrolled m Montgomery county. It was organized at In- 
dianapolis and left for Cairo, Illinois, the men being thoroughly drilled and 
then sent on to Tennessee in the vicinity of Pittsburg Landing, where they 
arrived Sunday, April 6th, at sundown. The battery was composed of young 
men and from their youthful appearance became known as the "Boy Battery." 
Their extreme youth and inexperience led many of the old soldiers to doubt 
their usefulness, and they were often told that they would never stand what 
they had just gone through that day, but would run at the first opportunity. 
The battery was finally planted on the extreme right of the Union lines, and 
was supported by Gen. Lew Wallace's brigade. Directly in front of the 
Ninth was a rebel battery which had done good service on Sunday. In the 
early morning the Ninth opened the great battle which was to end in defeat 
of the rebels and the death of one of their great generals — a battle never 
before equaled on this continent and almost without parallel in modern war- 
fare. The Ninth soon dismounted and silenced the rebel battery and was 
advanced about two miles, where they fired every charge of ammunition they 
had. During the fight they had fired one thousand three hundred rounds 
and experienced officers said they never saw guns served or aimed with 
greater effectiveness. The men who predicted the "boy battery'' would run 
gave three rousing cheers, when they saw how manfully they worked at their 
guns and afterwards the Ninth was known as the best battery in the whole 
service. After the battle the batteiy was returned by General Wallace, until 
the evacuation of Corinth, where they went with the Thirteenth Army 
Corps (then under gallant McPherson). Among the principal actions in 
which they engaged were famous Shiloh, Corinth, those of the Meridian 
campaign and Red River expedition and from Vicksburg they were deployed 
on the expedition against the rebels. At Memphis they veteranized, and 
all save a detachment were sent home on furlough. The men left took part 
in the battle of Tupello, Mississippi, after which they chased Price through 
Missouri over into Kansas, marching seven hundred and twenty miles and 
returned in time to fight at the battle of Nashville. At this battle, A. P. 
Noel, wounded at Tupello, came out of the hospital and joined his battery 
on his crutches. He was seen by Gen. A. J. Smith, who ordered him back, 
but Pat wanted to stay and only went to the rear when taken in charge l>y a 


guard! The Ninth was ordered to report at Indianapolis, after the battle of 
Nashville. From there they were to take boats for Evansville. When a few 
miles out from Paducah, Kentucky, the steamer "Eclipse" exploded; on the 
boat were sixty-eight of this battery, and all but ten of the brave boys were 
killed, scalded or wounded. The Ninth was reorganized at Indianapolis, 
but never reported for duty, as the surrender of Lee to Grant occurred soon 
after they were reorganized, when all the light artillery not in the field was 
mustered out. With the Ninth Battery ended the enlistment for the second 
grand uprising. The next call, in the summer of 1862, was made, when the 
Seventy-fifth, Seventy-eighth and Eighty-fifth Regiments were sent to the 
field from Indiana. The action of the Parke county men in these engage- 
ments will he traced out further in this chapter. 


In 1862, the demand for soldiers was greater than in 1861, when it 
was a matter of conjecture what the Confederates could and would accom- 
plish. But not so in 1862; it was then a dread reality what they were 
doing to our forces. McClellan had marched nearly "on to Richmond," but 
retreated, after the slaughter of Malvern Hills, Glendale, Gaines Mills, etc. 
The Army of North Virginia, with its veterans from Manassas and Seven 
Pines, were pressing forward to the music of "Maryland, My Maryland," 
and that under Kirby Smith, eager to avenge Zollicofer and Fort Donelson, 
had re-entered Kentucky, with evident intention of invading Indiana. The 
patriotic men of Parke county were called upon and responded nobly as 
before, enlisting by the hundreds in the armies of the Union. 

On July II, 1862, Wallace W. McCune, assisted by some patriotic 
young men, began raising a company, with headquarters at the fair grounds 
at Montezuma. At a war meeting held at Rockville. July 26th, addressed 
by ex-Governor J. A. Wright, Lieutenant McArthur, of Captain McCune's 
company, enrolled a number of men. After camping a few days at Monte- 
zuma, the company went into Camp Vigo, Terre Haute, after which it was 
sent to Indianapolis and mustered into the Seventy-first Infantry for three 
years and became Company G. The regiment was immediately sent to Ken- 
tucky and took part in the battle of Richmond when only twelve days from 
home. Most of the regiment Avere taken prisoners, after hard and desperate 
fighting. They were immediately paroled and sent to Terre Haute. Captain 
McCune resigned November 30, 1862, and Lieutenant McArthur became 
captain. The regiment was sent back to Kentucky after being exchanged, 
and in February, 1863, was changed to a cavalry organization and became 


the Sixth Indiana Cavalry, after which it was sent to eastern Tennessee and 
engaged in the siege of Knoxville. In the spring of 1864 they were sent to 
Georgia and assisted in the Atlanta campaign, as part of the Army of the 
Ohio, participating in all of the cavalry operations and taking part in the 
battles of Resaca, Cassville and Kenesaw Mountain. After the fall of Atlanta 
they were sent with Sherman on his raid against Macon, which resulted in 
the surrender of his staff and the greater part of his command. Of the 
captured, twenty of the company starved to death in prison — Andersonville 
and Libby. Those not captured were at the battle of Nashville and remained 
in that city till April, 1864, when they were sent to Mississippi and became 
part of the military division of that state. They were mustered out September 
nth at Murphreesboro, Tennessee. 


During the last week of July, 1862, one hundred and twenty men for 
sixty days' service were raised in Parke county, mostly from Rockville and 
Bellemore. The company went to Indianapolis, where some difficulty about 
the election of officers occurred and the company, being too large, was divided. 
Those who preferred T. A. Howard as captain stepped to one side, and those 
wanting J. W. Humphreys to the other. CaptaiiT Howard was the favorite 
with most of the men, consequently the Rockville company was the largest. 
They elected Howard captain, J. M. Nichols, first lieutenant, and Madison 
Keeney, second lieutenant. The Bellemore company elected Humphries, 
captain; E. Cole, first lieutenant, and S. Crooks, second lieutenant. The 
two companies, with one from Clay and Putnam counties, became the 
Seventy-eighth Indiana, which regiment was never completed, and left In- 
dianapolis Friday evening, August ist, for Evansville, where they drew 
arms and uniforms and Saturday evening went to Henderson, Kentucky, 
remained one day and Sunday night went by boat down the river to Union- 
town and marched to the country several miles to capture sqme guerrillas, but 
owing to the want of a competent guide the expedition was abandoned. 
During that march Private Loveless, of the Bellemore company, was mor- 
tally wounded, being shot by his own comrades, who, without orders, fired 
upon the skirmish line of their own men. On September ist the battalion — 
one hundred and fifty men — were attacked by seven hundred and fifty Rebels 
and, after a severe fight, lasting an hour and a half, during which Captain 
Howard and many Others were killed and others mortally wounded, they had 
to surrender. Though the Rebels were victors, their success was dearly 


bought, as about twenty of their number were killed and many more wounded. 
The men of the Seventy-eighth were paroled and sent to Indianapolis, where 
they were discharged. 


This command was raised at Annapolis and sworn in at that place in 
August, 1862. Company A was presented with a beautiful silk flag by the 
ladies of Annapolis, Dr. J. S. Dare, on behalf of the ladies, making a neat 
speech. The company went to Terre Haute, where it elected Abner Floyd, 
captain; C. Sherman, first lieutenant; H. Ingraham, second lieutenant, and 
A. McCune, first sergeant. The regiment was organized September 2d and 
the next day went to Camp Morton, from which they were ordered to Camp 
Wallace, at Covington, Kentucky, where they were thoroughly drilled and 
then sent to Tennessee. In their first fight, at Thompson's Station, they made 
a gallant record, being in battle with their brigade against five brigades of 
Rebels, under Forrest. In this fight Captain Floyd was killed. The Union 
men fought all day against an overwhelming number and every round of 
ammunition was fired before they would surrender. The prisoners were 
taken to Richmond, where they were confined twenty-si.x days and then re- 
turned to Indianapolis, exchanged and again sent to Franklin. Tennessee. 
When Sherman concentrated his matchless army for the Atlanta campaign, 
this regiment went to Chattanooga and was assigned to his command. Com- 
pany A was in the fierce charge upon the hills of Resaca, driving Rebels from 
works which seemed impregnable, and took part in the battles of Cassville, 
Dallas Wood, Golgotha Church, Culp's Farm, Peach Tree Creek and many 
more, and when Atlanta finally fell and was "fairly won" and Sherman 
again took the field. Company A went with him to the sea, marching through 
Georgia, to Savannah, and on through the two Carolinas to Richmond. 
From Richmond, they went to Washington, D. C, and back to Indianapolis 
and were discharged. 


This organization was effected as a part of the Eighty-fifth Indiana 
Volunteers and was begun in July, 1862, and completed by electing Francis 
Brooks, captain; David Phillips, first lieutenant; Robert Clark, second Heu- 
tenant. The company left Camp Dick Thompson, at Terre Haute, with the 
regiment, September 3. 1862, and went via Indianapolis and Cincinnati, to 


Kentucky, where it struck the Kirby Smith raiders and lay in line of battle 
several days and nights without a single cartridge. It soldiered along 
through the "dark and bloody ground" and was then ordered to Tennessee. 
Its first engagement was at Thompson's Station, where it behaved well, but, 
with other portions of the regiment, was captured and taken to Libby prison. 
The prison life caused the death of nine members of the company. After its 
release and exchange, it again entered the field and participated in the Atlanta 
campaign, "down to the sea," through the two Carolinas and on to Washing- 
ton, D. C, where it took part in that greatest of all military pageantries, the 
Grand Review. It was then mustered out. 


This company was chiefly organized by Capt. Daniel A. Porter, in the 
autumn of 1863. First Lieutenant D. Phillips and a man named Taylor, 
with a party of lUinoisians, was sent to help form the required number. 
Taylor was elected second lieutenant, but never commanded, John E. Wood- 
ard being afterwards chosen by the men, received his commission as second 
lieutenant. The Eleventh, greatly to its disappointment and in violation of the 
promise made the soldiers at their enlistment, was not immediately mounted 
and placed in duty on the front. They were scattered by companies along the 
Memphis & Charleston railroad in the spring of 1864 in Alabama, where dis- 
ease killed more than the bullets would have. In the fall the regiment was 
driven in by Hood's advance, mounted at Nashville and sent to meet him at 
Columbia, Tennessee. The regiment, one of those forming Stewart's bri- 
gade, Hatch's division, made a complete circuit of the Rebel army and its 
many battalions, moving by different routes and often in close quarters with 
the enemy. Company F, with three others, was on one occasion almost 
entirely surrounded, charged by three columns and shelled at three hundred 
yards' distance. The greater part of the command escaped by cutting their 
way out to the Nashville pike. There about thirty men rallied and drove back 
the front of the Rebel advance, re-took the prisoners and retired in good 
order, as the heavy columns of the Texas cavalry came up. The battalion 
that evening lost nearly one hundred men in killed, wounded and missing. 
This was known by soldiers as "Spring Hill fight." At Franklin, the 
Eleventh was on the left flank of Schofield's aiTny, but not in actual engage- 
ment, as there was no place for cavalry to operate. They made a good record 
at Nashville, the regiment fighting dismounted, taking eight out of sixteen 
Rebel cannon. It is said that Frank Howard was the first man to capture a 


gun. Of two hundred and fifty men in the last charge at dark, they lost thirty- 
seven men in less than three minutes. Bert Chapman, the orderly in com- 
mand (acting adjutant), showed soldierly qualities. He stayed through the 
thick of the fight, refusing to let a serious lameness from an old wound keep 
him out of the battle. John Lindley, a sergeant, rode a white horse through 
a corn field, where the Eleventh left most of its dead lying, at which point 
the field officers and Lindley dismounted and led the brigade to its last charge, 
just as the curtain of night fell, and took in four of the Rebel guns. From 
that point the company followed Hood, being all the time in front and almost 
daily engaged with his rear guard, until he crossed the Tennessee. Lindley 
was promoted to captain; Chapman to first lieutenant and Howard to sec- 
ond lieutenant. The regiment was sent west in May, 1865, riding from St. 
Louis tc buffalo ranges in western Kansas. They were brought back and 
mustered out in the fall of that year. 

THE hundred-days' MEN. 

August 7, 1864, under the call for twenty thousand men from Indiana, 
to serve one hundred days, Company H, Indiana Legion — "Rockville Guards" 
— began to recruit, preparatory to offering the company organization to the 
volunteer service. The number was soon made up, a large number of Rock- 
ville men who would be accepted under the call, and many who could enlist 
for three years, volunteering. On Monday, May 9th, the company elected 
Milton Vance, captain; S. B. J. Biyant, first lieutenant; James Phalon, sec- 
ond lieutenant, and L. A. Foote, orderly, who was later made major of his 
regiment. The company left Tuesday for Indianapolis, accompanied to the 
depot in a heavy rain storm by a large crowd of ladies and gentlemen. At 
Indianapolis, the company presented their captain with a handsome sword, 
Private J. M. McLaughlin making the presentation speech, which was replied 
to by Captain Vance. After being organized as Company G, One Hundred 
and Thirty-third Indiana Volunteers, they left Indianapolis for Nashville, 
May 2ist, and after a few days there were sent to Bridgeport, Alabama. 
They were as well drilled as any single command in the army at that date, 
but were never sent to the front, remaining at Bridgeport, doing guard duty, 
until mustered out of service. 



Soon after the first company was sent South, another was recruited in 
Rockville. They, too, went to Indianapohs and were consoHdated with part 
of a company from Madison county. They were sent to Nashville and then 
down the Nashville & Chattanooga railroad to Tullahoma, where they did 
similar service as the company that had preceded them. The last named was 
known as Company D, One Hundred and Thirty-Se\-enth regiment. 

Thus ends the brief (imperfect in many ways) history of the military 
operations of the men who served from Parke county in defense of the 
Union, but this is the best that the author, at the mercy of imperfect records 
in the adjutant-general's office, can here furnish. It covers the chief events 
connected with the great struggle in which Parke county bore a very patriotic 
and important part. From first to last, Parke county sent out fourteen full 
companies, and more than half of five other companies. To these add the 
original volunteers in the Eleventh Indiana Regiment, the scattered ones in 
the Eighty-fifth Regiment, those in the Ninety-seventh and One Hundred 
and Fifteenth, the parts of companies in the One Hundred and Forty-ninth, 
the individuals in the sharp-shooters, the volunteers of 1864-5 o" the gun- 
boats and other detached squads and it is found that the county contributed 
not less than two thousand volunteers for the Union cause between 1861 and 
1866. . And remember, these were from a county that had a population of 
less than sixteen thousand souls when the war broke out. The county also 
raised funds for bounties and relief of $234,970. Aside from the usual 
number of worthless men who always find their way into armies, in all wars, 
in all countries, the men from Parke were solid citizens, terribly in earnest in 
their devotion to the national interests. In the camp-fires, in the tented 
fields of the Southland, might have been heard discussions of every theme 
imaginable. The officers were in no degree superior to the privates, as a 
general rule. The volunteer from this county was a man of standing at 
home, and saw the necessity of being true to his convictions and bared his 
breast unflinchingly on many a hard-fought battle field. At this date (1912) 
but few survive to tell of the terrible battles and long marches. There are 
some, however, and they are respected by all for what they endured in the 
days when the country demanded good men. In 1883 there were one hundred 
and sevent3r-five of these ex-soldiers in Parke county who were drawing pen- 
sions from the United States. The number has been diminishing ever since, 
although the pensions were raised after that date, making the amounts paid 


out here quite as large as a quarter of a century ago. Not alone did the 
sturdy fanner leave his plow in the field to enlist, but beside him stood the 
merchant, the lawyer, the doctor, the mechanic and the learned Greek and 
Latin scholars from institutions of learning. While Indiana had its l)ack- 
biters at home, — its copper-head element. — the best citizens, both in public 
and private life, were men who stood by the Union in its hoiu^ of peril. Peace 
finally came, but not without great loss of blood and ]5ersonal sacrifice on the 
part of Parke county soldiers. 

With the many companies and regiments went forth man}- l)ra\-e men 
who never returned to enjoy peace and long life among their people. By the 
wayside, on the hills, in the morasses and swamps of the far-ofif Southland; 
in the Golgothas around prison pens of Dixie, they sleep unshrouded, un- 
coffined and unknown, there to rest until the Angel shall proclaim the 
Resurrection Day, and bid the earth reveal her secrets. No gentle hand 
scatters flowers over their narrow homes. None go to weep where they rest 
hidden from sight and knowledge, but perchance the busy husbandmen plows 
o'er the spot where they lie in silence, and the wind in the tall grass chants 
its solemn requiem. 

"On fame's eternal camping ground 

Their silent tents are spread; 
And glory guards with solemn sound 

The bivouac of the dead." 

There were several of the pioneers here who served in the war with 
Me.xico, in 1846-7, and the last one, A. P. Noel, died in 1911. 

At the time of the Spanish-American war, 1898, a company was re- 
cruited in Rockville for that service, but were never called out, as the state 
quota was made up by use of the regular National Guard companies. This 
company, which would have gladly sei'ved, was largely from out the men 
belonging to the old Cadet and Battery companies of Rockville. 


This was a military company organized as state militia and sworn into 
service, with forty-eight members, April 30, 1880. It secured quarters over 
the old woolen factory, which it used as an armory and where the members 
were drilled. The captain was Clinton Murphy; first lieutenant, Isaac R. 
Strouse; Frank E. Stevenson, sergeant, at first, but at the completion of the 


organization in April, the following were elected: Clinton Murphy, captain; 
Frank E. Stevenson, first lieutenant; C. E. Lambert, second lieutenant; 
William L. Mason, orderly sergeant; Lannie L. Ticknor, second sergeant; 
William D. Stevenson, third sergeant; Frank H. Nichols, fourth sergeant; 
Tilghman Bryant, fifth sergeant; Isaac Strouse, first corporal; William W. 
Smith, second corporal; Benjamin Grimes, third corporal, and George C. 
Cole, fourth corporal. The state furnished this company with breech-load- 
ing Springfield rifles. They were neatly uniformed in navy blue coats and 
sky-blue trousers and caps. The cost of the uniforms was eleven dollars and 
seventy-five cents per suit. 

After about five years, this company disbanded. At present Rockville 
is the headquarters for the Indiana Artillery, Major Stevens, commander; 
Major Frank E. Strauss, chief engineer of staff. 

Another military company here is Company C Battery, whose officers 
are at present : Dennis Williams, captain ; first lieutenants, James F. Ander- 
son and R. E. Swope; second lieutenants, Frank J. Strain and William 
Elliott. This battery has a membership of one hundred men. 



A majority of the pioneer band that invaded the wilds of what is now 
known as Parke county, Indiana, had been reared in the atmosphere, at least, 
of church influences, and many had been members of some one of the relig- 
ious denominations in the communities from which they emigrated. So, at 
an early day, they began to look to the formation of religious societies here 
and to the erection of some place in which to worship the "true and living 
God." The good seed scattered away back there a century ago has kept on 
producing good fruitage and may now be seen welling up in the Christian 
spirit manifested on every hand within the borders of Parke county, the 
present home of numerous churches and a regular church-going people, 
grouped into several different denominations of both Protestant and Catholic 
faith, but all of whom own the Chirst as their common Master. 

Almost a third of a century ago it was written by J. H. Beadle, author 
of a history of this county, that the Catholic people had taken up their work 
in this country long before the Protestants, and that the standard of Rome 
had been planted on the banks of the Wabash long before it had in Geneva. 
"From this vantage ground Catholicism has been pushed by the aggressive 
energy of Protestant nations ; England has triumphed over France and 
America over Spain and Mexico, till the Catholic power is confined to one 
small corner of North America, with a majority in no state and only in one 
territory of this nation. To the Missionary Baptists ■ must be given the 
credit of the first church in Parke county, and to Rev. Isaac McCoy must be 
given the credit of having preached the first Protestant semion in this 

Long years afterward the Old-School Baptists, led by Matthew Noel. 
Austin M. Puett and others and ministered to by Elder Newport, founded a 
flourishing society in Rockville and built a brick church; but by slow de- 
grees the society went down and the building was finally used for a carpenter 
shop, and at last torn down. 



Aside from the pioneer church above mentioned, the Baptists have had 
the foUowing churches within Parke county : 

What was known as the New Discovery Baptist church was situated five 
miles from Rockville, on the Greencastle road. This society was formed 
August 29, 1834, with thirty-seven members. By 1879 it had a membership 
of seventy communicants. The church was built about 1845. 

The Second Baptist church of Rockville was organized July 23, 1870, 
by Rev. L. Artis. It had a building on lot No. i of the original town plat. 
It cost one thousand five hundred dollars and was thirty by forty feet in 
size. This society originally had eleven members, but by 1880 had reached a 
membership of forty-one. 

The Colored Free-Will Baptists organized in Rock\ille in May, 1880, 
with eleven members. They used the Second Baptist cliurch each fourth 
Sabbath. Their first pastor was Rev. Isaac Hill. 

The first church built in Union' township was what was styled the 
Providence Baptist church and was called the "meeting house."" It was built 
out of the raw material of the forest, with but little hewing. It stood in the 
southwest corner of the township and there was a graveyard near 1>y it. In 
this house Benjamin Lambert, Jerre Baldwin, Samuel Medley and others 
exhorted. In the church yard nearby, the first to be buried was Moses Bald- 
win. Later this rude house of worship was abandoned and a better one, 
known as Mount Moriah, was built across the way in Greene township. The 
first church in the township of Union was built in 1828-31, and the one in 
Greene township referred to was erected in about 1840, on section 33, a frame 
structure thirty by forty feet, its cost being five hundred dollars. In 1874 
the society built their third building on the site chosen in 1841, and this 
building cost them one thousand seven hundred dollars. Jesse McClain served 
as pastor forty years. In 1880 the membership of the church was sixty. 

The history of the Baptist church in Bridgeton, as shown by records pre- 
pared in the seventies by Dr. J. W. P. Seller, was as follows: Alx)ut 1850 
Elder P. Swaiin came from the New Discovery church and held meetings in 
private houses around Bridgeton. After him came Rev. P. T. Palmer. At 
this time the members here belonged at New Discovery. About 1853 ^ com- 
mittee made arrangements and erected a church at a cost of nine hundred dol- 
lars, it being thirty by fifty feet in size. On June 3, 1853, there convened at 
Bridgeton a council which represented the churches of New Discovery, 


Freedom, Goshen and Liberty, and organized a society. Elder P. T. Palmer 
was moderator and R. Davis the church clerk. A joint letter of forty-two 
members from New Discovery church was presented, asking to be organized 
into a church, and were so organized by said council. Their first pastor was 
Peter M. Swaim. In the early eighties the membership had grown to about 
sixty-five. Since its organization up to 1879 there had been between three 
and four hundred persons taken into this society and several ministers had 
been ordained. As the first Baptist church here had been built by all classes 
it was used in common by all orthodox denominations. In 1879 a neat build- 
ing was erected, at a cost of nine hundred dollars, and the membership then 
amounted to about forty. 

A regular Baptist church was organized on section t,2, Raccoon town- 
ship, about 1835, with a membership of nearly thirty. The first preacher was 
Rev. Isaac W. Denman, who preached there fully forty years. He met his 
death August 31, 1875, by being run over by the cars. In 1858 a chapel was 
erected costing five hundred dollars, one-half of which Mr. Denman paid 
himself. The early members of this church have long since been gathered to 
their fathers. 

In Liberty township a Baptist church was formed at a ^-ery early date 
and a building erected, which was followed in 1869 by another, costing two 
thousand eight hundred dollars, dedicated by Rev. C. B. Allen. 

In Jackson township, about 1832, was built the first meeting house, and 
it was of the Baptist denomination and styled Rocky Forks church. The 
society was first formed by seven members. The old log "meeting house" 
stood more than a half centuni' and until in the eighties. 


At this date (1912) there are the following Baptist churches within 
Parke county: 

At Bridgeton, the church has a membership of twenty-seven, and its 
property is valued at $1,500. 

The Brown Valley church has a membership of one hundred eighteen: 
valuation of church, $3,500. 

Carbon has a church of twenty members, and the church is valued at 

Friendly Grove, membership, ninety-nine: valuation propertv, $1,200. 

Friendship church has a membership of thirty-nine and a church valued 
at $900. 


Goshen church has a membership of fifty-eight and church property 
valued at $1,500. 

. Marshall church has a membership of sixty and church property valued 
at $2,000. 

New Discovery church has a membership of one hundred thirty-four 
and property valued at $2,500. 

Rockville church has one hundred thirteen members and property valued 
at $2,500. 

Tennessee church has a membership of one hundred and church prop- 
erty valued at $1,000. 

Union has a church of seventy-six members and property valued at 


This is among the pioneer church societies in Parke county, and for- 
tunate it is that one of the pastors of the Rockville church found time, amid 
his labors, to prepare its early history, from which we draw largely for this 
article, so far as it relates to Rockville and vicinity. J. S. Rogers, church 
clerk, placed the item referred to on historic pages for the church. 

"In the autumn of 1822 Rev. Charles C. Beatty, later a doctor of divin- 
ity at Steubenville, Ohio, then a young missionary, visited Parke county and 
gathered together a number of Presbyterian families, principally from Mer- 
cer county, Kentucky. Among that flock we find the names of Buchanan, 
Gilkeson, McMillen, Balch, Adams, Garrison, White, Anderson, Mann, Ran- 
kin and others, all living on Little Raccoon creek, between where Waveland 
now stands and the mouth of that stream. After preaching to them for 
some weeks, some times in groves and some times in private houses, he or- 
ganized them into what was known as Shiloh Presbyterian church. In 1824 
they erected a hewed-log meeting house for worship, near Little RaVcoon 
creek, about four miles northeast of the town of Rockville. This was the 
first built in Parke county. The ruling elders were Amos P. Balch, William 
McMillan, Jonathan Garrison. James Buchanan and Henry Anderson. It 
is said that this church in 1830 reported some one hundred members to the 
general assembly. Revs. S. K. Snead, D. C. Proctor, Isaac Reed, Gideon 
Blackburn, Samuel Taylor, John Young and James Thompson visited the 
church and preached more or less to it prior to 1828, when Rev. Samuel H. 
McNutt, a young minister from Virginia, became stated supply to that peo- 
ple, and so continued until 1832. That year a large section of Shiloh church 


and congregation, together with a number who had removed from other 
states to Rockville, resolved to start a new enterprise at that place. Accord- 
ingly, on August II, 1832, after a sermon by the Rev. John Thompson, a 
church consisting of forty members was organized, with the Rev. S. H. 
McNutt as pastor. Henry Anderson, James L. Allen and James McCamp- 
bell were chosen ruling elders; the two latter were then ordained and the 
three installed as ruling elders of the Rockville Presbyterian church. Early 
in 1833 they erected the old First church. 

In 1835 Rev. McNutt, who had served the church as stated supply, be- 
came the regular pastor, and officiated as such until 1846, when by mutual 
consent his pastoral relations to the church was dissolved, and he was fol- 
lowed by the Rev. William Y. Allen. In. March, 1839, the church reported 
one hundred and thirty members to the general assembly, only nine of whom 
remained in the bounds of the congregation in 1877, a large number having 
died and removed, many emigrating to the far West. In 18S0 Dr. Beaty 
was the only surviving minister of old Shiloh; all the members of the old 
organization have passed away except John C. Gilkeson and Margaret and 
Isabella Gilkeson. In 1839 forty-one members withdrew and formed a sep- 
arate church known as the Second Presbyterian church of Rockville (New 
School). The First Presbyterian church was now known as Old School. In 
April, 1842, the First church reported one hundred and sixteen members; in 
1843, one hundred and thirty- four; and in 1845, one hundred and forty-four, 
which last number was the largest ever reported. In 1859, the membership 
was about ninety. * * * In 1862, Rev. W. Y. Allen requested the 
church to unite with him in asking the presbytery to dissolve the pastoral 
relation existing between him and the church, both of which requests were 
granted, and after a pastorate of almost sixteen years Mr. Allen closed his 
labors in this pulpit. The Rev. S. H. McNutt succeeded as stated supply 
one year, and was succeeded in June, 1863, by the Rev. Reaubien in the same 
capacity-. The latter resigned in November, 1864, and moved to Philadel- 
phia. The pulpit was then practically vacant for one year, after which Rev. 
John Mitchell served a year and resigned. Rev. Dr. Jewett, a Congregational 
minister from Terre Haute, came next and supplied the church until the 
reunion in 1869. In 1866 James R. McArthur, from Alabama, was added 
to the bench of elders, and in 1868 D. H. Maxwell, T. N. Rice and ^^^ L. Mc- 
Millen were ordained ruling elders. The three last, with J. C. Gilkeson and 
Levi Sidwell, constituted the bench of elders at the time of the reunion. On 
April 22, 1839, forty-one members withdrew and organized the Second 



Presbyterian church of Rockville ( Xew School), as before mentioned. 
James L. Allen and David Todd were chosen ruling elders. Rev. S. G. 
Lowry, of Crawfordsville, was the stated supply from July 15, 1839, to 
July 15, 1847. During his pastorate one hundred and twenty-three members 
wre received into the church. A house of worship was erected, and on 
November 22, 1840, was dedicated, the sermon lieing preached by Rev. John 
S. Thompson, of Crawfordsville. In 1847, Rev. Lowry was succeeded by 
Rev. W. M. Cheever, who was the next year regularly installed pastor, and 
continued as such until the latter part of the year 1849, when he gave way 
to the Rev. W. D. Rositer. The fruits of Mr. Cheever's ministry was the 
addition of twenty-eight into the church. Rev. George A. Adams preached 
from 1852 to 1853, and added thirteen to the church. Rev. John A. Tiffany 
succeeded ^Ir. Adams in 1856, and remained as stated supply two years, in 
which time nine united with the church. In the early part of 1859, Rev. 
John O. Blythe began his labors, remaining eight months and receiving two 
into the church. The next stated supply was Rev. John Hawks, whose period 
of service extended from 1859 to 1866. During six years of this time one 
hundred and four members were added to the congregation. On February 3, 
1862, 1. G. Coffin, previously elected, was ordained a ruling elder. The 
spring and summer months of 1867 found the pulpit only occasionally sup- 
plied, but on October 23d the Rev. John M. Bishop began his ministrations. 

"On June 11, 1869, the elders of this society addressed a communication 
to the First Presbyterian church of Rockville, proposing a union of the two, 
and at a congregational meeting of that church, held July 17-22, the proposi- 
tion was accepted. Accordingly, on December 2gth the union was formally 
consummated at a called meeting of the Greencastle jiresbytery, convened at 
Terre Haute, the Crawfordsville presbytery, to which the First church be- 
longed, having previously set it off for that purpose. Rev. John M. Bishop 
was continued pastor of the united church until October 23, 1872, when Rev. 
Henry L. Dickerson was installed stated supply. Early in the summer of 
1877 the latter resigned his charge and removed to Danville, Indiana. Rev. 
William H. Hillis was the next to serve as pastor."' 

It may be stated that in 1880 this church had a membership of one hun- 
dred and fort\-one. In 1870 a fine large brick edifice was erected and 
served well its purpose until the present church structure was built in 1891, 
or rather remodeled, and is known as Memorial church. A pipe organ was 
added in April, 1910, at a cost of two thousand five hundred dollars. The pres- 
ent membership of this church is two hundred and sixty. The pastors since the 


last mentioned have been as follows: Revs. W. H. Hillis, from 1879 to 
1881 ; James Omelvena, from 1881 to August, 1887; James Kerns, from 
January 17, 1887, to 1888; J. H. Sharrard, from May 17, 1888, to March 
20, 1895; J. P. Roth, from June 17, 1896, to May 29, 1899; J. C. Christie, 
from 1899 to 1903; H. L. Nave, from January 10, 1904, to 1908; W. B. 
Chancelor, from 1908 to the present date. 

In conclusion, it may be added that when the Old and New School 
churches united, the bells of the two societies were taken from their re- 
spective buildings and recast into one which hangs in the tower in the rear 
of the new church. This is indeed a beautiful symbol of the perfect union 
of the two church bodies. The old Second church building, in the west part 
of town, was converted into a carriage shop for Foster Brothers. The old 
First church was sold to John Tate and others and for a time used for school 
purposes. Afterwards the Colored Baptists held services in it and later it 
became an implement house. 

In Liberty township, in 1847, ^ Presbyterian congregation was organ- 
ized with twenty members, and the following year a meeting house was built. 
It was burned and rebuilt in 1877. at a cost of eight hundred dollars. Rev. 
James Ashmore was the first pastor of which we have any record. Rev. T. 
A. Williams was pastor in 1880 and then the church had a membership of 

In Reserve township a Presbyterian church was erected in 1853. The 
first minister was Rev. John Hawks, who organized the congregation and car- 
ried on the building operations of the first church. He was succeeded by 
Rev. Thomas Griffith and he by Rev. William Wilmer. who in the later 
seventies was followed by Rev. Stinson from Kentucky, who had about forty 
members under his charge. 

In Adams township, the New Bethel Presbyterian church was located 
on the Rockville gravel road, two and a half miles out of Rockville. It was 
organized in 1859 by twelve members. For a time the congregation wor- 
shiped in the school house, but later a nine hundred dollar church building 
was erected. Rev. John Hawke was the first pastor of this church. At one 
time more than sixty names were on the church roll and forty were added 
after a single revival period. For many years this society was the means of 
doing a great deal of good in the community in which it was located. 

At Judson, in Washington township, there was a Presbyterian church 
organized early in the seventies and in 1873 a luiilding was erected l>v this 
denomination and the Methodists in union. 


Another Presbyterian church was formed in Liberty township March 
10,1876, Rev. J. W. Hanna being the first preacher. This never came to be 
a large congregation. 


In 1912 the Presbyterian churches of this county are located as follows: 
Rockville, Memorial church, with two hundred and sixty members; Mt. 
Herman church, at Howard, which was moved in from the country in 1901 
and now has a membership of fifty-five; New Bethel, three and a half miles 
out of Rockville, an old society that has virtually gone down, but the few re- 
maining meml^ers still hold the church property, and have occasional services ; 
the Guion-Judson church with fifty-five members; Bethany church was a 
country church until about 1910, when it was removed to the town of Mar- 
shall and now has a membership of ninety-one; Montezuma has a Presby- 
terian church of thirty members and owns its own manse. 

The Cumberland Presbyterians had a joint building in Liberty township 
at one time and a small congregation. 


A society of this denomination was organized in Greene township in 
1858, by the union of the Associate Reform Presbyterians, Associate Presby- 
terians and Covenanters. The next year they commenced to erect a place for 
worship, which was finished in i860. Its cost was less than eight hundred 
dollars. William G. Spenser was the first ordained minister of this church. 
In 1880 the society had a membership of forty-four. The church was located 
on section 35. 

This branch of Presbyterianism w^as founded in Scotland in 1733 by 
members who disliked certain things connected with the old Presbyterian 
creed. In 1753 it established its first church in this country, at Philadelphia. 
In 1779 this sect united with the Reformed Presbyterians and formed the 
Associate Presbyterian denomination. The Associate Presbyterian church 
of Portland Mills, originally called the Raccoon, was organized February 19, 
1829, by Rev. James P. Miller, a missionaiy worker appointed by the synod. 
The first pastor here was Rev. Nathaniel Ingels, who was followed by James 
Dixon, who after a quarter of a century of faithful work, rested from his 
labors. The first meeting house was made of logs and was erected in 1831. 
This was succeeded in 1850 by a large frame building and again in 1874 


another took the place of that structure and cost the congregation two thou- 
sand six hundred dollars. It seated six hundred persons. 

At present the denomination has in this county is not strong, if indeed 
there be an organization at all. 


The Christian church at Rockville was organized in September, 1838, 
with sixteen members, and the next 3'ear a church building 30 by 40 feet was 
erected on lot No. 73 of the original town plat. William Cooper was the 
contractor and Joseph Ralston assisted him in the work of building. For 
twenty years and more this sect carried forward a praiseworthy work. In 
1858 a large number of the members relaxed their connection when a re- 
organization was effected, thirtj^-nine men and women placing their names on 
the new roll. In 1862 there were over eighty communicants. Strong inter- 
est was manifested for a time, but in 1865 the church became completely 
disorganized and lapsed for a period of ten years, no service being held dur- 
ing that time. On February 23, 1875, a society of Christians was formed 
from the Boyd school house. Both that and the preaching place were called 
"Whitehall." By August, 1875, through Thomas Boardman, the church 
was transferred to Rockville, to unite with those of the same faith in that 
town. The congregation was raised to sixty-four members. At the end of 
four years attendance flagged and not over a dozen attended services. Ac- 
cordingly, on November 21, 1879, Thomas Boardman addressed a letter to 
each of the brethren exhorting them to attend on the 30th and assist in an- 
other organization. This call was answered by thirty-one persons renewing 
their membei-ship. Of the present of this church it may be said, that it now 
numbers about one hundred and thirty and has a frame edifice and property 
worth about five thousand dollars. This was built in 1894. The present 
pastor is Rev. William T. Barbre, now on his fifth year as the minister. 

At Catlin a Christian church was organized in Raccoon township, about 
1867, with a membership of forty-two. A house of worship was erected at 
a cost of one thousand six hundred dollars in the village of Catlin. In 1871-2 
Jacob Wright held a well attended revival. This church had its own troubles 
from time to time, and the faithful few numbered only twenty-five in 1880. 
The building still stands, but the society has gone down. 

In Jackson township, the Christians erected a church thirty bv forty 
feet, in 1873, which building cost two thousand dollars, and had a seating 
capacity of five hundred. Previous to that these people worshiped with the 


Methodists, in tlie grove and at the mill. The house was dedicated April lo, 
1874, by Thomas Goodman. Here numerous revivals and special services 
were held and many were added to the church on profession of faith. This 
church is located in the sprightly little town of Lena. The church here is 
not flourishing well at this date. 

In Greene township the Christian people built the first house of worship 
in 1839 at Portland Mills, "in the face of secular opposition," wrote one of its 
leaders many years since. Up to 1880 there had been established three dis- 
tinct societies of this order in this township, the first in 1839, which society 
erected a church in 1850, costing one thousand five hundred dollars. The 
first minister was Rev. J. M. Harris. The second was the congregation that 
built a building at Bank's Springs, on section 5, in 1840, and this was a log 
structure, followed by a frame house thirty-five by forty feet. The third 
society was one that joined with other denominations of the community in 
erecting a union church building at Parkville, in 1865. This building burned 
later. In 1870, the Christians, through the efforts of James H. Jack, built 
a church costing one thousand seven hundred dollars. This was free to all 
denominations when not in use by this people. 

In Sugar Creek township, Pleasant Grove Christian church (New 
Light), so called by many, was instituted at the school house in 1868, where 
meetings continued to be held until 1870, when a church was erected thirty- 
two by forty-two feet, costing one thousand dollars. Rev. L. W. Bannon 
was the first minister and organizer, and began with a membership of thirty 
persons. In 1881 this church had a working membership of one hundred and 

The New Lights, or a branch (or another name for Christians), built in 
Howard township in 1835 a log building in which to worship. It served a 
decade, when they purchased the old Missionary Baptist church in conjunc- 
tion \\ith the Metliodist people and occupied the same jointly. 

At present (1912) the Christian churches of Parke county are: The 
Rockville church. Union church, four miles west of Rockville, has fifty 
members, but no regular pastor. Christian chapel, or Daly's church, in the 
south part of the county where Rev. Chester Fiddler, of Terre Haute, 
preaches occasionally; membership about ninety. At Mecca, this society 
has a good frame building and a small congregation. .\t Montezuma, there 
is an old church and a congregation of about forty membership. At Bloom- 
ingdale the church numbers about one hundred and twenty, worships in a 
frame building, Rev. Elvin Daniels, preacher. At Byron, there is a brick 


church and about seventy-five members; Rev. C. C. Dobson, of Brownsburg, 
preaches here. At Parkville there is a frame church and about sixty mem- 
bership; Rev. Bratton preaches once a month. At Bellemore and Coxville 
there are church buildings, but no regular services at this date. 


It is believed that Methodism was first taught in Parke county by the 
giant preacher from old Virginia, Rev. William Cravens, who probably 
preached the first Methodist sermon north of Big Raccoon creek, and he, with 
Father Armstrong, John Strange and William H. Smith, founded the church 
in Parke county. There was preaching here long before there was any organ- 
ized society of Methodists, but in 1823 there were enough of the Methodist 
faith here to meet in classes formed and which met at private houses, and at 
least as early as 1826 Rev. William Smith, later known by all as "Billy 
Smith," preached regularly in the old log court house on the north side of the 
public square in Rockville. It was probably in 1826 that the church was 
regularly organized, and from that time on religious pioneering went forward 
with the felling of forest trees and the killing out of snakes and wolves, both 
so numerous here then. The early church books show the names of Cornelius 
Sunderland and wife, and Greenberg and Lavicie Ward. In 1828 Rev. 
Samuel Brinton took charge of the church as its regular pastor. His labors 
were mightily blessed and for many years this was the most prosperous 
church within Parke county. 

From the pen of Editor and Author Beadle, of Rockville, and from 
historic accounts published in the Rockville Tribune, the writer is able to 
here reproduce the early history of the Methodist church at Rockville, which 
is indeed complete and very interesting. We quote as follows from this 
historic account given in 1879-80: 

"The chastening and hallowed influences of the gospel followed close 
upon the footsteps of the pioneers; and a settler's cabin was hardly up liefore 
an itinerant was there with his Bible and hymn book, gathering the family for 
devotion around the altar in the wilderness. The first settlers were an in- 
tensely earnest people; they manifested no half-wav religious feeling, but 
worked for the Lord as they worked for themselves, with loud shouts and 
heavy blows. An early missionary in these parts, probably the first of the 
Methodist faith in the county, and the one above named, was William Cravens 
of Virginia, a fearless and remarkable man. He was a mason by trade, and 


had been dissipated, but was converted and took a singular and solemn vow 
of abstinence by putting his bottle into, and making it a part of, a wall which 
he was building. He was powerful of frame, a slaveholder, and quite 
wealthy. He abandoned his former vices, and liberated his slaves. Taking 
the pulpit, he assailed the great evils of Southern society; he declaimed against 
drinking, gambling, horse-racing and slavery as an institution. This pro- 
voked dangerous opposition, -and mobs threatened his life. But he was bold 
as a lion. With Christian intrepidity he sent his appointments to those who 
waited for his coming with vengeance in their hearts, never failing to meet 
his engagements at the stated hour, nor to utter with unshaken firmness his 
daring sentiments. He became famous in Virginia as a preacher, and hardly 
less noted in Indiana. He did his Master's work and counted not the cost. 
John Strange and another named Armstrong, able and distinguished men 
who left flattering and fascinating traditions among the people, planted 
Methodism in this part of Parke county. Accounts are given of Methodist 
preaching as early as 1822. In 1824 Grimes was the circuit rider, and meet- 
ings were held at John Leinbarger's on the Leatherwood, and at James 
Starin's on the Big Raccoon. The last place is now called Pleasant Valley. 
A church was subsecjuently built there, but in the seventies had become unfit 
for use and was abandoned. After Grimes came Anderson, a brother-in- 
law of Strange. The latter was a powerful teacher of the word ; it is said 
that he was the first presiding elder, and was followed by Amistrong and 
James Thompson. The first log building in Rockville occupied for stated relig- 
ious services was the old log court house ; this was used until the brick school 
house, long since gone into decay, was constructed. In 1832, the Methodists, 
Baptists and Presbyterians were still using this building for church services. 
The new court house was then used by all denominations. Occasionally there 
were great awakenings, and within these buildings were stirring revivals. 
The old Presbyterian church, the first house of worship, proper, erected in 
Rockville, was built in 1833. The Methodists enjoyed the privilege of its 
frequent use. In 1834, the sainted Bishop Roberts visited Rockville, and by 
invitation of Rev. McNutt preached in this house. A little later in the same 
season, Richard Hargrave, a talented young Methodist divine, was passing 
through the country and was invited to deliver a sermon in this Presbyterian 
church. He delivered in all nine discourses which it is alleged set the people 
to thinking on theology. It should be remarked that among the leading men 
were found many skeptics. 

"Cornelius Sunderland was foremost in founding the first class. Smith 


was on the circuit in 1826 and laid the foundation of iVIethodist success. A 
little later came Cornelius Swank and Samuel Brinton, when man)- were re- 
ceived into the church. Swank was a better man than a preacher. Still 
later came Samuel Cooper. Prominent among the lay members of those 
early days were : Elisha Adamson and wife, Samuel Noel, John Linkswiler 
and wife Rebecca, Samuel Baker, David Reeder, James Justus, Scott Noel 
and wife. Gen. John Meacham, Mark Meacham, Dr. Peter Q. Stryker, John- 
son S. White and wife Hannah, Thompson Ward and wife, Miles Hart and 
wife, Uncle Perry Cummings, Greenberry Ward, Governor Wright and wife 
Louisa, and those whose names have been lost with the flight of years. For 
several years betwen 1833 ^^'^'^ 1850 the society was divided into three classes; 
one met at the church right after serxice, one at Governor Wright's house, 
and the other at Dr. Stryker's house. An era of great prosperity to the 
church began in 1833 and continued till 1850. In the spring of 1855, there 
was a powerful revival and many members were added to the church. ]\Irs. 
Elisha Adamson was a spiritual and talented woman and Mrs. Governor 
Wright was an exceedingly pious and hard working church laborer, who 
always shouted in meeting. Miss Mary Watt was another devoted Christian 
lady. In these three gifted women the spirit of fervent work and consecra- 
tion were happily blended and sweetly displayed. Miss Watt was a school 
teacher and died in 1847."' 

The society had used successively the log court house, the brick school 
house, and the new court house, but in 1837 decided to build a church. Their 
numbers were indeed few enough, and their means small enough, for such 
an undertaking, and the burden came heavily on the few abler ones. But 
tliey succeeded in building a large house, now long since known as the "Old 
Church." It was finally sold to the .\frican Methodist people and used by 
them until about 1900, when it vas torn down. It is related that Samuel 
Noel mortgaged his farm for money with which to complete this church 
building, and possibly others did the same thing. Its cost was two thousand 
five hundred dollars. A parsonage was built two or three years later. The 
Indiana conference was held in this building the year after its completion. 
It served the congregation twenty-eight years and was then abandoned, the 
society returning for another year to the court house. Re\'. Thomas Mere- 
dith held the last services in the old church in 1865. The next spring the 
foundation for a new building was laid, and that year the house was finished. 
Rev. Meredith circulated the subscription and raised the money with which 
to build the church. It was erected on lot 30 of the original town ])lat of 
Rockville. The oldest record book begins at the datings in 1837-8. 


Of the present church building and society at Rockville, let it be under- 
stood that the church erected in 1865-6 served until about 1900, when it was 
really rebuilt, the old walls being used and new ones provided to enlarge the 
church somewhat and in 1910 the building was thoroughly overhauled and a 
new front and rear rooms and modern basement constructed, really making a 
new church edifice of the old structure, giving the present commodious build- 
ing. These recent improvements cost the church ten thousand dollars and 
included the furnace heating plants, a splendid pipe organ, a large gallery, 
carpets, stained windows, etc. It was dedicated by Bishop David H. Moore, 
February 13, 1910. What is known as the Mary L. Noel parsonage belongs 
to this society and is valued at five thousand dollars. 

This is in the Greencastle district of the Methodist church. The present 
membership in Rockville is three hundred and eighty-seven, and the church 
is valued at twenty thousand dollars, which is exclusive of the parsonage 
property. Since 1880, the pastors have been in the following order: Revs. 
John L. Boyd, 1880; L. S. Buckles, 1884; O. R. Beebe, 1885; J. G. Camp- 
bell, 1887; F. M. Pvey; John A. Maxwell, 1895: T. F. Drake, 1896; S. P. 
Colvin began in 1896; H. N. Ogden, 1900; H. L. Davis, 1901 ; F. W. Hixson, 
1903; D. D. Hoagland, 1906; A. P. Delong, 1908: Alfred S. Warriener, 1910 
and still pastor in 1912-3. 

In Reserve township a Methodist church was formed shortly after the 
settlement at Montezuma, on the old canal. The church building was erected 
in 1849, by Rev. Hezekiah Smith, who visited the vicinity about that date and 
infused fresh spiritual life into the settlement. In 1880 the records show a 
membership there of seventy. 

In Union township, the first Methodist class meetings were held at the 
home of Thomas C. Burton. Much later and in 1846 Canaan church was 
erected. This region was then a part of Rockville circuit, but later was 
known as the Bellemore circuit. In 1868 the society built a new church at 
Bellemore. Bishop Bowman dedicated this building. 

In Raccoon tov\'nship the first work of Methodism was the first of any 
within the township; the date cannot now be determined, but suffice to 
state that it was at a very early pioneer day. A society was there organized 
in 1825, but preaching had been had, long before that. Another society was 
organized at about the same date at the neighborhood of the brother of the 
noted Rev. John Strange. A church was built on the farm of James Crabb. 
The first to become pastor in Pleasant Valley was Rev. William Taylor. 
This church was quite successful for some time. In 1859 a twenty-one-day 


revival was held and many added to the church. In 1855, at Pleasant Valley, 
a church was built, and at one time there were more than a hundred and ten 
members enrolled. The society at Bridgeton was organized in 1866. 

In Penn township the Methodists organized and built a church in 1850, 
under Rev. H. Smith and in 1879 there were over a hundred members. 

In Florida township, as in most other townships in the county, barring a 
few only, the Methodists were first in starting church work. The first 
Methodist preaching in this township was held at private houses. Rev. 
William Mac, a local minister, did the first work for the church in this 
region, holding his first meeting at the home of David D. Loree. In 1834, 
Isaac Owens came in as the pioneer missionary minister, preaching his first 
sermon at the house of Capt. Daniel Stringham, a Revolutionary soldier. 
At that meeting eleven united with the church. ^Meetings were subsequently 
held in Mr. Loree's barn and carriage house. The place of meeting was then 
changed to a school house in the northwest corner of the township and still 
later to one on Banjamine Newton's land. The first church in the township 
was built by this denomination. In the spring of 1850 Friend C. Brown 
deeded an acre of ground in section 7, to the trustees of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church of Florida for the purpose of erecting a church upon it. In 
1872 a second church was provided to take the place of the old one. A well 
planned cemeten,- was made near this church, and there repose the remains 
of many of the devoted members, as well as others long since departed from 
earthly scenes. In the northwestern portion of the township is another hand- 
some building erected by this same society, at the foot of the bluff, around 
which, on the side of the hill, is a beautiful cemetery. 

In 1830 Elijah Ward lield meetings in the houses of settlers, and later 
in the log school house, and in a store building, finally at Roseville, where 
Rev. William Black preached the first sermon in 1859. In i860 a frame 
building was erected at an expense of one thousand two hundred dollars. In 
the autumn of 1870 forty members, under Rev. Thomas Marshall, com- 
menced holding meetings in the Dailey school house and effected an organiza- 
tion. Another part of the Roseville congregation organized a church at 
Cox's school house in the summer of 1869. Churches or classes were also 
formed at the Doty school house in 1878 and other points within this town- 
ship which has ever been noted for its Methodism. 

In Liberty township a Methodist church was erected in 1846, costing 
three hundred and fifty dollars in cash and much hard labor. The member- 
ship at one time was two hundred, but dwindled to twenty-five by 1880. Rev. 
Isaiah Smith was the first preacher there. 


In Jackson township, prior to 1856, worshiped the Methodists in school 
houses,, as best they could, but at that date they decided to build, Mansfield 
was chosen as the building site and an edifice was built at a cost of eight 
hundred dollars. 

Prior to 1872 the people of the Methodist faith living in the south por- 
tion of this township concluded to have better church home facilities, hence 
built a neat church at Lena, at a cost of one thousand three hundred dollars. 

In Washington township, in about 1872-3, a Methodist society was or- 
ganized by Rev. James C. Stemor. 

In Sugar Creek township a congregation was organized in 1855, in a 
school house near Daniel Heath's residence of later days, where they wor- 
shiped until 1858, when they built a frame house, which was burned by in- 
cendaries during the Civil war. The house was rebuilt in 1862 and opened 
for worship in January of that year. The society was constituted through 
the efforts of Mr. Edwards, an old Welsh gentleman. It was formed with 
fourteen members and in 1880 had thirty- four. A building then in use cost 
one thousand one hundred dollars. 

In Howard township the first church of this or any denomination was 
of rough logs and was erected in 1833, and known as McKenzie's chapel. 
William Smith and William Bilbo were the prime movers in the formation 
of this class. Samuel Cooper was their first minister. 

The African ]^Iethodist Episcopal church at Rock\-ille was organized in 
1872 by the Rev. Jesse Bass. Patrick Thomas and Louisa Black began a 
protracted effort in Rockville, in May. at Thomas's house, and carried their 
meetings from house to house. In five weeks they were able to form a 
society, composed of the following persons: Patrick Thomas, Louisa Black, 
William Lewis, Samuel Kirkman, William Brower, Sarah Williams, Jesse 
Brower, Eli Kirkman, Cynthia Kirkman, Ransome Coble, John Robinson, 
George Robinson, George Williams and Jerry Craven. This earnest little 
■band of colored worshipers, as soon as they had organized, purchased the 
old Methodist Episcopal church, for one thousand fi\-e hundred dollars. 
Among the first pastors were Revs. Nathan Bass, JohTi McSmith, John Hart, 
John Myers, Johnson Burden and ^^'. S. Lankford. The church building 
was described in 1880 as being forty-four by sixty feet on the ground, and 
was a good substantial building, standing on lot number 20, in the West 
division, and had a frontage of one hundred feet and was one hundred and 
sixty feet deep. They soon added to the building and pro\ided a comfortable 
parsonage, the entire property having cost them two thousand dollars. They 


were, in 1880, free from all debts, save the small sum of forty dollars. The 
society then numbered sixty-five. The Sunday school then numbered forty- 
nine pupils, Prof. John Wilson being superintendent and Augustus Roberts, 

The above named building served until abovit 1900, when it was torn 
down and the present building erected on its site. The church now has a 
membership of about forty-two persons and, while not large in numbers, is 
doing an excellent work among and for the few colored population of Rock- 
ville who espouse the Methodist Episcopal faith. The present district super- 
intendent or presiding elder, Rev. Charles Hunter, has charge of the work 
in a very large scope of Indiana territory and is an old soldier of the Civil 
war, a man of good learning, extended travel and highly intelligent, just the 
right man to forward the best interests of the church and in every way equal 
to many of the white presiding elders in this and adjoining states. The 
present pastor is Rev. Handy Thompson, who has recently been appointed to 
Rockville church. 

At one time there were two other churches of this denomination within 
this county, but owing to removals of the floating colored population these 
have ceased to exist as societies. 


From an interview with the pioneer lady, Mrs. George \\'. Sill, in the 
eighties, the subjoined is gleaned : , 

"A few years after the noted Lorenzo Dow was announced to preach 
here and the word was sent all over the county, awakening great interest. 
The day came, and with it as motley a congregation as Parke county ever 
saw. A huge log, roughly leveled, was the pulpit. Near it were a few seats 
occupied by the women and young children, and a few of the most "sub- 
dued" men. Behind them for some distance were all sorts and conditions of 
people, sitting on logs and stumps, or stood leaning on their long rifles, or 
against the trees. On the outskirts of the crowd were several hunters clad 
in buck-skin with beaded moccasins, the whole adorned by the handiwork of 
squaws, and to one side was a small group of Franco-Indian half-breeds and 
with them two or three full blooded Indians. No one had seen the preacher 
enter the crowd, when most unexpectedly he bounded on the log and, doffing 
his wolf-skin cap, glared around in a manner that seemed more like insanity 
than anything else, giving them near him a decided shock. In a minute the 


whole audience was hushed; then in a strange, quavering voice, drawing the 
vowel sounds to great length, now recited these lines : 

'The day is almost gone, 

The evening shades appear; 
Oh, may we all remember well 

The night of death draws near." 

"The effect was electric; every eye in the motley audience was fixed on 
the speaker, as if by a terrible fascination and having thus prepared the way, 
he proceeded to preach in a more natural tone. His illustrations were drawn 
largely from the common life of his hearers. He spoke of their combats 
with wolves and serpents, and symbolized the contests of the human soul; he 
touched upon their early trials and ill health, and pointed to the Comforter; 
he alluded to children already buried in the young settlement and to the 
graves of kindreds already left behind, and dwelt with great energy on the 
promise of a re-union in the skies. The few who remember the scene cannot 
say that any marked or permanent effect was produced. Most of the hear- 
ers came from mere curiosity and were too much interested in the preacher's 
eccentricities to weigh his words." 


In the autumn of 1912 the following churches of this denomination 
were in existence in Parke county : 

Bellemore and Marshall circuit, 175 members; value of church property 
$4,000. Aside from this there is one parsonage valued at $700. Pastor, 
T. B. Markin. 

Bloomingdale, with 143 membership, a $1,200 parsonage and a church 
valued at $6,400. Pastor, O. M. McKinney. 

Carbon and Sharon circuit, membership, 100; two churches valued at 
$5,000. Pastor, Ray Stevenson. 

Catlin and Minchel circuit, with a membership of 170, two churches, 
valued at $6,000. This circuit included Bridgeton. Pastor, Jesse Bogue. 

Linebarger chapel, membership 36, church valued at $1,500. Pastor, 
Julius Pfeiffer. 

Mecca and Bethel circuit, with a membership of 130; three liuildings, 
valued at $6,000. Pastor, Herbert Webster. 

Montezuma, with a membership of 150: a brick church valued at $6,000. 
Pastor, J. J. Davis. 


Rockville, with a membership of 387, one church valued at $20,000; 
parsonage vahied at $5,000. Pastor, Alfred S. Warriener. 

Rosedale, with a membership of 164, one church valued at $6,000; one 
parsonage valued at $3,000. Pastor, C. C. Stanforth. 

The above pastors were serving in 191 1 and some of them in 1912. 

In addition to these the African Methodist Episcopal have a church 
spoken of elsewhere, at Rockville. 


This denomination was organized into a church society in Penn town- 
ship in 1840, but no church was erected until about 1869. It was thirty by 
forty feet in size. The church was formed by Isaac Pickard and John 
Ephlin at a point a mile to the east of Annapolis, in Washington township. 

In Union township this people was well represented at an early day. 
They frequently met at James Bulion's or John McGilvery's houses: also at 
Moses Hill's or Charles Beache's. In 1849 ^ church was erected on section 
30. called Otterbein. The society grew rapidly and in 1873-4 there were 
reported forty-one members as having been added thereto. In 1866 about 
forty of these people met at the Martin school house to organize a class and 
Joseph McCrary was chosen leader. In March, 1867, they held a revival and 
thirty-one were added to the society. A thirty-by-forty-foot frame church 
was erected and dedicated in November, 1867. James A. Smith was minister 
in charge at that date. 

In Sugar Creek township there was in existence in the seventies another 
United Brethren church in the Bristle Ridge neighborhood. 


There not being a large German population in Parke county, this denom- 
ination has never had many societies or churches. In 1830, however, the 
Philadelphia Lutheran Church Society built its church in Greene township. 
It was a log building, used as school house and church. Within a year after 
its completion it was burned. In 1835 a second building was erected on Big 
Raccoon, this being a frame structure. Matthias Sappinfield was a leader in 
this society. In 1866 another church was built at a cost of fifteen hundred 
dollars and was located in Greene township on section 15. At first this 
societv numbered fifty, but owing to emigration it was greatly reduced in the 


passage of years. Several Lutheran ministers went forth after being educated 
here and made for themselves names in the theological world. 


The first Catholic services of which we have an account in Parke county 
was in 1854, at the house of Martin Ryan, three miles south of Rockville. 
Mass was read by Rev. La Lamere, who was then the parish priest at Terre 
Haute. Rev. Highland was then appointed by the bishop to the missions of 
Rockville, Montezuma, Greencastle and Bainbridge. He first read mass at 
James Kinney's and later at the home of Patrick Riordan, where it was held 
at different times for seven years. Finally, a church was built by Father 
Minerod. The members of every other church generously donated to this 
building enterprise. Services were then held, but not oftener, as a rule, than 
once in a month or two. James Bowman gave instructions to the children of 
the parish for a number of years. Next this work was carried on by Mrs. 
E. J. Hughes, who voluntarily gave her services. 

In Reserve township what was styled the Church of the Visitation of the 
Blessed Virgin Mary was established after the Civil war. Father McCarty 
was the first priest in charge. A church house was erected at a cost of one 
thousand dollars, the lot having been donated by Mr. Davis, of Rockville, 
late in the seventies. A dwelling for the priest was soon built near the chapel, 
while the cemetery was located two miles south of town. This Catholic 
church was formed in the town of Montezuma. 


In the autumn of 19 12 the Catholic society had churches in Parke county 
as follows: At Rockville, where the present building was built in 1886, and 
is in charge of Father Gorman; it is known as St. Joseph's. There is a church 
at Mecca, one at Montezuma and one at Diamond, all of these congregations 
being served by the Rockville paster, except the one at Diamond which is 
under Father Cobb. 


More than a quarter of a century ago the following account of the 
Society of Friends in Parke county was written after careful compilation and 
research, by Hon. Robert Kelly: 

"The first meeting of the Friends in Parke county took place at the 


residence of Adam Siler in 1825, and were kept up at that point from 1825 
on for more than one year. Then the settlement at Bloomfield and Rocky- 
Run began to assume shape ; the place of meeting was changed to the house 
of Simon Rubottom, where they continued until the sixth month, 5th, 1826. 
At this date the first meeting house was erected and a preparative meeting 
established by the authority of the Honey Creek monthly meeting. Jeremiah 
Siler and Mary Kelly were the clerks of this preparative meeting, the records 
of which up to the twelfth month, ist, 1827, were lost. 

"Bloomfield meeting was established twelfth month, ist, 1827, by an 
order of the Blue River quarterly meeting, dated Lick Creek, Orange county, 
tenth month, 27th, 1827. The committee having charge of its establishment 
were John Bray, J. Jones, James Rhodes, J. Hadley. and C. Hill. They 
appointed the first seventh day in each month for meeting. At this meeting 
M. Kelly, Payton Wilson, N. Newlin, S. Allen, and Isaiah Pemberton were 
appointed to have the meeting house grounds surveyed, and a grave-yard 
staked off, and M. Reynolds, John Newlin, and Isaiah Pemberton were ap- 
pointed trustees of the house. At the monthly meeting held second month, 
2nd, 1828, M. Kelly and J. Siler were appointed to receive and report accounts 
of sufferings to the meeting. The sufferings alluded to were such as origi- 
nated from fines collected by law from members in indigent circumstances for 
non-conformity to the military laws of the state, which at that time, and for 
several years afterwards, required every able bodied man between the ages of 
eighteen and fort3'-fiye to muster at stated periods, or on the call of the proper 
offices, failure to respond being punished 1iy fine. Friends, to be consistent 
with their well-known peace proclivities, refused to pay. or directly or in- 
directly to give up property, hence they were made more or less annoyance, 
and sometimes distressed, by the loss of indispensable articles which poorer 
members could not of themselves replace. This being brought to the notice 
of the yearly meeting, it, true to its principles, came to the relief of the dis- 
tressed, and itself bore the burdens ; and the more successfully to accomplish 
this it required each monthly meeting to appoint a committee to take cogni- 
zance of all cases of distress within their respective limits, and report, when 
they were forwarded to the meeting for sufferings, which furnished the proper 

"Another source of trouble which the early Friends had to contend was 
with the difference of opinion on a doctrinal phase denominated Hicksism, 
which resulted in a wide-spread and damaging separation under the leadership 
of Elias Hicks. On the peculiar doctrine set forth liv this new sect, an 


article by Prof. B. C. Hobbs, of Bloomingdale, is ver)- explicit and reads as 
follows : 


"Sixty years ago the New Testament was common as a school book, but 
a complete copy of the Bible was not often found in the family of Friends. 
When read it was not expected to be explained, except by ministers, and as a 
consequence there was a great indefiniteness in the religious opinions of too 
many on doctrinal subjects. 

"They accepted the opinions of those in whom they had confidence when 
they were positively asserted and capable and plausible men had great in- 
fluence in society. 

"The Society of Friends at this time was distinguished, as it ever has 
been, for benevolence, temperance and the social virtues. They were practi- 
cal Christians. This lack of establishment in Christian faith rendered the 
hearts of too many a favorable soil for the seeds of heresy to take root and 
bring forth evil. 

"About the years 1818 to 1825-8 Elias Hicks, a man who embraced 
in his character the appearance, language and manners of the straightest of 
his sect, and was most .sympathetic and benevolent toward the poor, the 
afflicted and the oppressed, was known to advance sentiments which under- 
valued the mediatorial offices and atoning merits of Christ. He often spoke 
of Him as only a good man. That the Holy Spirit was in Him as it is in 
us : that His death and sufferings on Calvary were of no value to us, only as 
an example in a devoted life ; that His blood was only a metaphor, meaning 
His life or the life of the Holy Spirit. He denied the existence of a devil 
or an evil agent apart from man's passions and taught that we are all by 
nature like Adam in the creation and fall. That the account in Genesis of 
the creation, the fall of our first parents and the Garden of Eden, were 
figurative and unreal ; that we must be saved alone by the Holy Spirit in us : 
and that the Scriptures were not all inspired ; such as were written by the in- 
spiration of God are to be believed; such as were not, are of no more binding 
authority than other books : and that each must judge for himself. 

"His plausible and winning manners and persuasive eloquence led many 
imsuspecting men and women astray. Many saw the error of his teaching 
from the beginning and gave timely warning. Some took one side and some 
the other. The controversy waxed earnest and culminated in a separation in 
1828, in several yearly meetings in America, beginning in New York and 
ending in Indiana. Meetings, families and friends were divided. Wounds 


were made, never to be healed. Some were led on in the separation by their 
love of a libertine faith, while others were influenced by the strong ties of 
friendship and social relations. 

"There are some still living who can remember the work of the dark 
angel. Such recur to it with sad hearts. 

"The effects of this separation were, however, not without some good. 
It stirred up the whole society to an earnest searching for the faith once 
delivered to the saints and from that day to this the Society of Friends have 
held a sound faith, in the doctrines of redemption by the blood of the Lord 
Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 

"Although the date of the beginning of this trouble, in the United States, 
was some years prior to the settlement of Friends here, yet its first appearance 
in this part of Indiana was not until 1828. A paper was prepared that year 
by the Indiana yearly meeting, directed to each monthly meeting, on this 
subject, in which, among other things, the doctrine of Friends was clearly 
and fully set forth. The paper was read at Bloomfield monthly meeting 
third month, ist, 1828, which endorsed it and took action confirming its 
acceptance by an order that it be spread upon the record, and by the appoint- 
ment of a standing committee to look after certain spurious books and 
pamphlets purporting to contain the doctrine of Friends which were being 
circulated. It is a fact worthy of note that while alm.ost every section of the 
country, from Canada to Virginia and from Vermont to Illinois, was con- 
vulsed with the elements of Hicksism, within the limits of Parke county 
proper there was scarcely a ripple. In the monthly meeting held the fifth 
month, 2nd, 1829, the representatives of the quarterly meeting produced three 
copies of Evans' Exposition and a Testament as a donation from Philadel- 
phia yearly meeting, and other books having accumulated which were intended 
for the use of the members, a committee was appointed to establish a library 
and appoint a librarian, they recommending William Pickard for the position. 
Rules were afterward adopted for the government of the library and at 
various times valuable additions had been made to it, by purchase and 
donation, among others being a present of several important works and 
pamphlets from England and Philadelphia, consisting of a hundred and 
forty volumes and fifteen volumes purchased by the librarian, Philip Siler. 

"The establishment of White Lick quarterly meeting was made on the 
third to seventh day in second month, 1831. White Lick, Fairfield, Bloom- 
field and Vermillion monthly meeting joining in the request. 

"The first proposition for the establishment of the Western quarterly 
meeting came from the Sugar River monthly meeting third month, 5th, 1834. 


A committee of the abo\e mentioned and Bloomfield meetings was appointed 
and met at the latter place on 8th of fourth month, 1834, which agreed to 
ask for a meeting to be known as the Western quarterly meeting and that its 
assemblies take place on the second to seventh day, in the second, fifth, eight 
and eleventh months. The report was adopted by the yearly meeting which 
answered the request of the committee, by establishing it as required on the 
second to se\-enth day, of second month, 1836, nearly two years after the 
proposition was first made. 

"The first meeting held in the quarterly meeting house, built by Reuben 
Holden, in 1834, was on the 8th day of sixth month, of that year, only one 
end of the building being completed. At this meeting. Exam Outland, 
Stephen Kersey, Jesse Hobson and Lot Lindley were appointed as the first 
representati\es of the ^^'estern quarterly meeting." 

Union church \\as instituted by the Society of Friends, but the meetings 
were entirely undenominational. .\. church thirty-five by forty feet was 
built in 1875, at a cost of one thousand dollars. On Christmas night the 
same was dedicated. Levi ^^'oody was the first preacher in charge. 

What was known as the Christian Union church, on the Rockville and 
Mecca road, two miles from the former place, had at one date a membership 
of eighty, but by removals and death the society went down. A neat chapel 
;vas erected, costing eight hundred dollars. Rev. William Halt was the first 
to preach their regularly, and following him came Revs. Myers, Jacob ^^'right, 
Boer and Nathan Wright. 


This denomination has ne\'er flourished to any great extent in Parke 
county. In Sugar Creek township, in 1859, there was a society of this sect 
who built a church which was dedicated on Christmas night of that year, by 
Rev. T. C. Eaton. The building was thirty by forty feet in size and was 
erected on land owned by a Mr. Pickard. By 1880, the society had virtually 
gone down and the building was no longer used for church purposes. There 
have been several other attempts to maintain such churches, but all to no 
avail, the sentiment in favor of universal salvation not being strong enough 
in this locality. 



Freemasonry was first introduced into Parke county in 1844 by a dis- 
pensation to organize Rockville Lodge of F. & A. M. on May 30th of that 
year. The first meeting was held June 25th, when the following brethren 
attended : Charles Grant, Jeptha Garrigus, Caleb Williams, Randolph H. 
Wedding, Vetal W. Coffin, Albert G. Coffin, David L. Hamilton. Henr}- 
Slaven and Joseph B. Cornelius. The officers installed were Peter O. Stryker, 
worshipful master; John Briggs, senior warden; Seba S. Case, junior warden; 
Joseph B. Cornelius, secretary; Charles Grant, treasurer; Randolph H. Wed- 
ding, senior deacon, Albert G. Coffin, junior deacon; D. L. Hamilton, stew- 
ard and tyler. Joseph C. Smith, Aaron Griffin and John R. Ten Brook were 
the first persons elected to take degrees in this order. The grand lodge of 
Indiana granted a charter May 29, 1845, and at this time the name of the 
lodge was changed to Parke Lodge, which it is still known as. In 1880 this 
lodge had a membership of forty-nine, and it has always been in a prosperous 
condition. The laying of the corner-stone of the new court house in the 
month of September, 1879, was under the auspices of this lodge and was a 
notable event in the history of the order, as well as of the county government. 
The ceremony took place in the presence of a fair-sized audience of citizens 
and the lodges from Terre Haute and Judson and delegations of the fraternity 
from Annapolis, Bellemore, Mansfield, Roseville, Harveysburg and other 
places, and was performed by Most Worshipful Grand Master Robert Van 
Valzah, assisted by a full corps of Masonic officials. At the conclusion of the 
ceremonies Dr. Harrison J. Rice, a member of Parke Lodge, delivered an 
historical address of great interest and highly befitting the occasion. In the 
casket deposited in the stone was placed a copy of the oration, and of the 
charter of the lodge, with many other articles which it is expected will be 
of curious interest to the citizens of Rockville and Parke county centuries to 
come, perhaps. 

Parke Lodge now (1912) has a membership of one hundred twenty- 
three. It meets in the Masonic hall, owned by the fraternity, purchased in 
1909, and which is large and complete in all of its appointments. The present 


ofificers are: W. B. Collings, worshipful master; Jacob S. White, senior war- 
den; George L. Laney, junior warden; William Hobson, senior deacon; Ollie 
Decker, junior deacon; M. W. Marshall, secretary; W. H. Hargrave, treas- 
urer; tyler, W. J. Gaebler. 

Parke Chapter No. 37, Royal Arch Masons, was secured by an applica- 
tion for dispensation July 11, 1856. At a convocation held on that day by 
Royal Arch Masons there were present Addison L. Roach, M. G. Wilkison, 
John T. Price, H. Alvord, P. O. Stryker and L. A. Foote and an organiza- 
tion was made by appointing Roach to the chair and Foote as secretary. A 
committee appointed to procure a dispensation reported October 7th, in which 
it was made known that a dispensation had been obtained from William 
Hacker, most excellent high priest of Indiana. The meeting organized with 
William Hacker, grand high priest, presiding; S. F. Maxwell, king; P. Q. 
Stryker, scribe; — — Sayer, captain of the host; L. A. Foote, principal 
sojourner; J. S. Dare, ro_yal arch captain; H. Alvord, master of the third 
veil; John T. Price, master of the second veil; M. G. Wilkison, master of the 
first veil. A charter was issued by the ofificers of the grand chapter of In- 
diana, May 21, 1857. At that date the membership was twenty-one. The 
present membership is fifty-nine. This is the only chapter of Royal Arch 
Masons in Parke county. 

Annapolis Lodge No. 127, Free and Accepted Masons, was char- 
tered May 26, 1852, and in the year of Masonry 5852. The first ofificers 
and charter members were : John M. Wadding, worshipful master ; Edward 
D. Laughlin, senior warden; James W. Tucker, junior .warden; John D. 
Gififord, secretary; John S. Dare, Simon Vestal, John Kelly, L. B. Dunigan, 
C. N. Harding, David Best, William Sweeney, R. A. Coffin. 

Bridgeton Lodge No. 169, Free and Accepted Masons, was or- 
ganized in 1854. The petitioners for the dispensation were M. G. Wilkinson, 
Mahlon Wilkinson, R. C. Allen, N. B. Smook, John Briggs, Jr., James A. 
Cole and Jeptha Garrigus, all but the last named being members of Parke 
Lodge No. 8. The petition was granted with the title of Whitcomb Lodge. 
M. G. Wilkinson was the first master, and Mahlon Wilkinson and R. C. Allen 
were wardens. A charter was issued May 30, 1855, and the title of Bridge- 
ton No. 169 was given. The meetings were held in the second story of R. C. 
Allen's wagon shop for eight years, when, in 1863, the limited room and in- 
creased membership made it necessarj' to provide other quarters, and the lodge 
was removed to the upper story of Dr. Crook's drug store. In 1868 the store 
and contents were burned, including the lodge room, library and other valua- 


bles. The Crook store was rebuilt and a lodge room built especially was 
added to the structure. The lodge then flourished as never before. 

At Waterman, in the extreme northwest part of Parke county, Lodiville 
Lodge No. 172, Free and Accepted Masons, was chartered in May, 
1855, the first officers and charter members being: J. M. T. Bright, worship- 
ful master; N. Thomas, senior warden; A. R. Hood, junior warden; Samuel 
Richmond, secretary; Isaac Carman, Andrew Baker, D. G. Ephlin. 

Montezuma Lodge No. 89, Free and Accepted Masons, was 
chartered May 28, 1861, its first officers and charter members being: R. M. 
Gilkinson, worshipful master; Firman Allen, senior warden; Jacob Myers, 
junior warden; George Kretz, treasurer; Thomas Griffith, secretary; David 
Phillips, senior deacon ; William Mcintosh, junior deacon. 

In the autumn of 1912 the officers of this lodge were: R. W. Johnson, 
worshipful master; C. S. Overman, senior warden; R. W. Sutton, junior 
warden ; T. A. Welshnans, treasurer ; W. P. Montgomery, secretary ; Samuel 
J. Holmes, Frank Arn and T. A. Welshnans, trustees. The membership is 
now se\'enty-four, and the hall is \ alued at three thousand dollars ; it was 
erected in 1902. 

Catlin Lodge No. 402, Free and Accepted Masons, was char- 
tered May 25, 1869, with a membership of sixteen. The charter members 
were : S. T. Catlin, Thomas Harshman, Marshall Gray, A. S. Alden, Thomas 
Akers, John Pence, Asal Riggs, John Lollis, S. R. Beal, Price Hawkins, Ira 
Jones, John Thomas, Harvey Gray, Uriah E. Thomas, J. W. Puett and Dr. 
George M. Knight. The lodge met for many years in the Ray hall. 

In Union township the first fraternal society formed was that of the 
Masonic order. An informal meeting was held at the store of James Brack- 
enridge, November 7, 1874, for the purpose of considering the expediency of 
organizing a Masonic lodge, and on December 26, 1874, thirteen members 
met for this object. J. M. Jerome was elected worshipful master; A. B. 
Collings, senior warden ; James Brackenridge, junior warden ; W. P. Blake, 
treasurer; J. D. Wright, secretary; W. Jerome, senior deacon; P. L. Reid, 
junior deacon; Albert Beach, tyler. 

Lena Lodge was organized September 29, 1874, in Murph's hall, in the 
town of Lena, Jackson township, with a membership of eight. The officers 
elected were : Wellington Peach, worshipful master ; James Smook, senior 
warden; Levi Woodrum, junior warden; John A. Welch, secretary; Jacob 
Plummer, treasurer; M. R. Plummer, senior deacon; Mathew G. Ouin, junior 
deacon; Jesse Williams, tyler. A charter was granted May 22, 1877, in the 


meantime the lodge working under dispensation. Up to 1880 no death had 
occurred within the circle of the membership. 


In 1912 the following Masonic lodges existed within Parke county: 
Parke Lodge No. 8. with one hundred and twenty-three members; Monte- 
zuma No. 89, with seventy-four members; Anrtapolis No. 127, with sixty- four 
members; Bridgeton No. 169, with one hundred and twenty-three members; 
Lodiville (Silverwood) No. 172, with forty-six members ; Rosedale No. 259, 
with eighty-two members; Catlin No. 402, with fifty-eight members; Judson 
No. 518, with fifty members; Sylvania No. 559, with sixty members. 


The oldest Odd Fellows lodge in Parke county is the one instituted at 
kock\ille, November 9, 1849. knt)wn as Howard Lodge No. 71. by Taylor 
W. Webster, district deputy grand master, of Ladoga, assisted by Joshua 
Ridge, Samuel Noel, ^Villiam Kromer, Samuel Stover, James Houston and 
William Detrick. It was named in honor of John Howard, the eminent 
philanthropist of England. The charter members were F. W. Dinwiddle, 
Joseph Phillips, Charles ^^^ Stryker, Samuel A. Fisher and William McClure. 
The charter bears the date of January 10, 1850. and among other eminent 
names affixed to it was that of Hon. Schuyler Colfax, a past grand in the order. 
This lodge was organized in the Masonic hall at the court house. The first 
real Odd bellows ball was a two-story building, which stood many years and 
was finally used as a l.ilacksmitb shop. The kidi^e started out with six work- 
ing members, and struggled with but tew additions for a few years, when it 
took a start and grew rapidly until the war between the states broke out, 
when many of the members enlisted in the Union cause. At the close of that 
deadly struggle the lodge again took on new life and prospered. After 1876 
the lodge built a three-story building on the north side of the public square, 
at a cost of five thousand dollars, and on the third floor of which structure 
was built their lodge room, a spacious, well-furnished hall. 

Rockville Encampment No. 95, Patriarchs Militant, was instituted No- 
vember 9. 1849. Its charter bears the names of W. C. Lumpton, grand pat- 
riarch, and E. H. Barry, grand scribe. The twenty-fifth anniversary of the 
chartering of this lodge was commemorated by a grand banquet, November 
9, 1874. 0\er nine hundred were furnished a sum]:)tuous dinner, gotten up 


by the ladies of the old National Hall. Hon. Schuyler Colfax delivered the 
address in an able and truly eloquent manner. 

Reserve Lodge No. 102, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was in- 
stituted November 10, 1851, at Montezuma, the charter members being 
Samuel A. Fisher, John W. Wade, James Jacobs, George H. Ribble, Samuel 
D. Hill and George W. Thompson. 

Annapolis Lodge No. 431 was chartered, or rather organized, January 
7, 1874, with the following as charter members and first officers : J. D. Con- 
nely, noble grand; R. W. H. McKey, vice-grand; Wyatt Morgan, treasurer; 
John J. Garrigus, secretary; Miles Ratcliffe, warden; William and Samuel 

Parke Lodge No. 498 was instituted August 26, 1874, by John T. San- 
ders, of Indianapolis. The charter bears the date of November 18, 1875. The 
first officers and members were : John J. Garrigus, noble grand ; R. H. W. 
McKey, vice-grand; W. R. Cooper, secretary; Wyatt Morgan, treasurer; John 
P. Lungren, Miles Ratcliffe, Samuel Brooks and William Brooks. It was 
written of this lodge in 1880 : "It is one of the brightest lodges in the county, 
the spirit of friendship obtaining universally among the membership." 

Union Lodge No. 198, Daughters of Rebekah, also met within the lodge 
room of the last named lodge and in 1879 was the only lodge of its kind in 
Parke county. It was fonned in z^ugust, 1879, by the following members: 
Dr. McKey, W. R. Cooper, Jennie Cooper, W. P. Floyd, Elizabeth Floyd, 
Thomas Clark, Anjennetta Clark, Miles Ratcliffe, E. J. Ratcliffe, S. Harlan, 
Mary Harlan. J. C. Hershbrunner. L. \\'. Banton and Angelina Banton. 


The following is a list of the Odd Fellows lodges within Parke county 
in existence in 1912: 

Reserve Lodge No. 102, Montezuma, has a membership of seventy-six, 
and owns a fine hall, erected in igoo at a cost of six thousand dollars, which 
is all paid for. The present officers are: Charles Machletd, noble grand; 
Perry Jarrod, vice-grand; John G. Lowry, secretary; Roy Aikman, treasurer: 
John Machledt, Oliver Whitson and \^'illiam Whitson, trustees. 

Howard Lodge No. 71. Rockville, two hundred and seventy-six members. 

Bloomingdale Lodge No. 431 has fifty-five mmebers. 

Parke Lodge No. 498 has twenty members. 

Tangier Lodge No. 632 has seventeen members. 

Rosedale Lodge No. 698 has one hundred and thirty-eight members. 


Prosperity Lodge has one hundred and eleven members. 

Mecca Lodge No. 755 has one hundred and three members. 

Bridgeton Lodge No. 815 has forty-two members. 

This makes a grand total in the county of nine hundred and seventeen. 


At Marshall, Union Lodge has seven members. 
At Bloomingdale, Pearl Lodge No. 226 has thirty-five members. 
At Rockville, Shining Light Lodge has one hundred and eighty-four. 
At Rosedale, Mary Lodge No. 431 has one hundred and two. 
At Montezuma, Wabash Lodge No. 498 has seventy-two. 
At Bridgeton, Mayview Lodge No. 689 has seventy -five. 
This makes a grand total in the county of four hundred and seventy-five. 
The only encampments of the fraternity in Parke county are those at 
Rockville and Rosedale, both flourishing in the autumn of 1912. 


This, one of the more modern civic societies, has a good following in 
Parke county. The first lodge of this order, Silliman Lodge No. 66, was in- 
stituted September 8, 1875, by District Deputy Grand Chancellor Albert 
Dickey, of Crawfordsville, assisted by the members of DeBayard Lodge No. 
39, of the same place. The charter was granted January 25, 1876, by C. T. 
Tuly, grand chancellor of the grand lodge of Indiana, and the charter mem- 
bers were as follows : William R. Fry, M. J. Cochran, William P. Strain, Z. 
Byers, W. N. McCampbell, O. J. Innis, T. H. Holmes, J. Wise, J. S. Hun- 
nell, William H. Gillum, George B. Chapman, J. B. Connelly, J. E. Woodard, 
J. D. Carlisle, William Rembolz, R. Christian, Charles H. Bigwood, David 
A. Roach, E. A. Matson, S. C. Puett, William D. Sill, F. M. Hall, S. D. 
Puett, A. J. East and John B. Dowd. In 1880 this lodge had a membership 
of one hundred and seven, and was reported in an excellent condition, finan- 
cially and fraternally. Meetings were held every Wednesday night in Castle 
Hall, in the third floor of Shackleford's block, on the north side of the square 
at Rockville. Now the hall is in the Whipple block; number of members, 
one hundred and seventy. 



In 1912 the following points sustained Knights of Pythias lodges: Rock- 
ville, Silliman Lodge No. 66, with one hundred and seventy members; Rose- 
dale Lodge No. 224, with one hundred and eighteen members ; Mecca Lodge 
No. 488, with one hundred and four members: Montezuma Lodge No. 264, 
with eighty-seven members; Tangier, Philemon Lodge No. 399. with forty- 
seven members; Bloomingdale, Penn Lodge No. 87, with thirty-six members; 
Marshall Lodge No. 133, with twenty-eight members; Bellemore Lodge No. 
649. with sixty-one members: Acme Lodge No. 98, at Silverwood, with 
membership of fifty-three: Bridgeton Lodge No. 435, with a membership of 
one hundred and forty-eight; Caseyville Lodge No. 465, at Diamond, with a 
membership of ninety-two. 

The Rockville lodge is the mother of all the others in Parke county. Its 
officers, according to the last obtainable report, that of the grand lodge of 
1912, gives the officers as follows: C. E. Burnett, chancellor commander; 
Frank Shaw, vice-commander; Fred Burnett, prelate: Early M. Dowd, keeper 
of records and seal; John H. Spencer, master of finance; A. T. Brockway, 
master of exchequer: Sherman Call, inner guard; S. J. Skelton, outer guard. 

At Montezuma, Lodge No. 264 was organized Jnne 2, 1891, and now 
has a membership of eighty. The present elective members are : J. L. Wliite, 
chancellor commander: A. Scribbling, vice-commander: William Skeeter, 
prelate ; William Burgess, master of wampum ; A. L. Jerome, keeper of records 
and seal; John G. Lowry, master of exchequer; John C. Hamilton, master of 
finance: John Morgan, master of arms; William Norris, outer guard; A. M. 
Kay, inner guard ; Frank Wilson, N. S. Wheeler, John L. ^^'hite. trustees. 
The order owns a hall valued at two thousand five hundred dollars. A few 
of this lodge belong to the Uniform Rank degree. 


The Grand Army of the Republic, the great Civil war and Union soldier 
fraternity, was early in the field in Parke county, and at one time there were 
numerous posts organized in the county, but with the death of so many of 
the loyal "boys in blue," of late years, many posts have been compelled to 
surrender their charter. There are still a few posts in this county, including 
the first organized, that at Rockville, and a few more. The total member- 
ship is now quite small. The sight of the once numerous copper buttons and 


post badges of the country is year by year growing sadly less, and ere long 
one will look upon these badges of honor as our grandfathers used to the 
relics of the old Revolutionary soldiers. 

The names and numbers of the posts in this county in the fall of 1912 
were as follows, with the names of the commanders : Steele Post No. 9, 
Rockville, with fifty membership; D. H. Strange, commander. Floyd Post 
No. 10, at Annapolis; J. R. Tucker, commander. Scott Post No. 305, at 
Portland Mills; Irvin Thomas, commander. Hobson Post No. 29, at Mar- 
shall; Stephen Beeson, commander. Altoona Post No. 407, at Waterman; 
George W. Knaver, commander. Kelly Post No. 572, Bridgeton ; J. H. Kerr, 



The art and profession of newspaper-making first got a foothold in 
Parke county in 1829, as appears from the earhest files of which the author 
has any access or knowledge. This was in the establishment of the Wabash 
Herald, started in 1829. It was in the early months of 1828, when this county 
had a population of less than two hundred souls, that its populace began to 
agitate the question of securing a local paper, having become tired of de- 
pending upon those printed at Terre Haute. So by the circulation of a sub- 
scription paper the Herald was founded, and its editor was a Mr. Clarke, 
from Ohio. It was a mild-tempered Jackson political organ, but paid more 
attention to local news than to shaping political opinion. John Marts pur- 
chased the office soon after, and he entered into a "starvation career." That 
was a day of red-hot campaigns and no neutral paper had any showing in 
the minds of the determined and positive first settlers in these parts. Marts 
sold to William T. Noel, who at once changed the name to that of the Rock- 
inlle Intelligencer and converted it into a radical Whig organ. Noel set out 
to build up the Whig party in Parke county and really did accomplish much 
in this direction. Later he sold to Comingore, who was followed by Mr. 
Snyder, and in turn he was succeeded by Col. Henry Slavens, who changed 
its name to the Olive Branch, which, however, was anything but a peaceful 
organ, but on the contrary, was always in "deep mud and hot water."" This 
caused the few issues of a paper known as the Whig Rifle, but the original 
paper was counted the real party organ of the Whigs for many years. It 
finally became so personal that the Democratic leaders started a paper to 
further their end in the county. It only ran for a short time and the oldest 
present inhabitant knows not its name or date of its publication, simply the 
tradition handed down that such a paper once existed here, for no copies can 
be found to tell the birth and death of the paper. 

It was not far from 1842 when Matthew Simpson bought the Whig 
paper, the Olive Branch, and conducted the same many years, after a very 
creditable fashion for those early days, when all matter had to be set up 
by hand and when pure rag paper obtained, instead of the rotten, almost 


worthless, present-day print paper. The paper was run off on a hand-press 
and its circulation was none the largest, but the price was from two to three 
dollars per annum, cash in advance (sometimes), and when not so paid itie 
rate was much higher, and the rule generally lived up to. Then there were 
no "patent insides," or cheap plates, with love stor}' attachments, to the pub- 
lication, sent by express at so much per inch or pound. Editorials were then' 
all original, no borrowed type or plates. Even the "patent medicine" notices 
all had to be set up at home, yet they told of as many cure-alls as those of 
today, and cured as many ( ?) then as now. One specialty was the full-text of 
long-winded speeches made in Congress, covering page upon page of fine 
type, and often continued to other issues of the paper. Also the long editor- 
ials explaining the position taken In' the Congressmen, etc. The foreign news 
had to come by sailing vessel and steamer for years, until, in the fifties, when 
the submarine cable brought European news, which, after its long route from 
New ^'ork and Philadelphia, finally found its way here by stage or canal boat, 
when it was headed "Latest News from Europe." Then, as even now, there 
were baskets full of poetrj set up annually, that was simply abominable. 
Finally, the name of the paper was changed to that of the Parke County 
Whig, and so continued until 1854, when the son. Rufus Simpson, took con- 
trol and named it the True Republican, which with the flight of years be- 
came the Rockiillc Refnihlican. In 1880 this was published by Keeny & 
Brown, which in reality is the legal offspring and descendant of the original 
Whig organ of this county. 

In the meantime, the Democrats had several times tried to sustain a 
newspaper, for political reasons, but had failed until in 1856, when E. Cox 
established the Democrat, which was short lived. Again in 1864, a traveling 
printer started another Democrat, but neither stood fire long enough to be 
counted in the chapter of journalism here. After many years, the Monte- 
suma Era became the leading Democratic organ of Parke county, and flour- 
ished quite well; it was still conducted in 1881 and was noted for being a 
good family newspaper with Democratic politics. 

Shortly after the close of the Civil war, Dr. John S. Dare, who gained 
some celebrity as a prose and verse writer, and who was from North Caro- 
lina, established the Parke County Nezvs, an independent paper, leaning to- 
ward the Greenback doctrine. It did not pay and was sold to George W. 
Collings, who called his paper the Patriot, a Democratic organ. He sold to 
T. B. Cheadle. who founded the Rockville Tribune, an independent Republi- 
can paper, which, in March, 1879, passed into the hands of J. H. Beadle, who 


conducted the same until he sold an interest to Isaac Strouse, who in a year 
or so purchased the remainder of the property, and has continued its publica- 
tion for more than thirty years, making it a stanch Democratic organ. 

The Parke County Signal files show that it was established August 14, 
1880, at Rockville, and run for a number of years, when it was merged with 
other publications and quit as a separate paper. It was radically Demo- 
cratic, and had scathing editorials,' in which the Republicain party was fre- 
quently "roasted" and which caused many heated newspaper discussions and 
animated retorts, between the editors of the various party organs. 

There have been many other papers published in the county at an early 
day, but none of great prominence, down to a quarter of a century ago. 


In 1912 the newspapers of the county are as follows : 

The Tribune, at Rockville, published by Isaac Strouse, who has been con- 
nected with the paper for thirty-odd years, and is now one of the leading 
Democratic organs in this section of Indiana. 

The Republican, at Rockville, is published and owned by A. A. Har- 
grave, who has conducted a clean, newsy, and straight Republican organ 
here since April 4, 1888, when he purchased it from the company represented 
by Brown Brothers. This paper is the continuation of the early-day Parke 
County JVhig. and later the True Republican. Earlier still its predecessor 
was the Oliz'c Branch, published first in about 1842, by Matthew Simpson, 
but it had been launched by the Whig element with William T. Noel as 
editor, who called the paper the Rockville Intelligencer. In taking the Re- 
publican, in April, 1888, Mr. Hargrave made this brief, modest announce- 
ment, and he has, during all these years, lived up to what he there stated : 

"In assuming the control of the Republican two objects are in view, one 
to make a living out of the business part of the establishment, the other to give 
the people, and especially the Republicans of Parke county, a first-class Re- 
publican newspaper. For these two objects I will work with might and main. 
The hearty co-operation of all is solicited. Without this confidence and help 
of my readers and patrons this paper must fail. But after all, the paper 
must show for itself. It is hoped no old friend of the paper will be lost and 
that many new ones will be gained. 


"Arthur A. Hargrave." 


The Montezuma Enterprise, now owned and conducted by C. S. Over- 
man, who has recently located there, is an independent newspaper, calculated 
to upbuild the vicinity in which it circulates, on both sides of the Wabash, in 
both Vermillion and Parke counties, especially the latter. It succeeds the old 
Record, published by A. B. Powell. The present rate of subscription is one 
dollar and twenty-five cents and the Enterprise is filled with choice, crisp 
locals, and also carries a paying list of home advertisements, showing the 
patrons appreciate the manner in which the paper is being conducted by Mr. 

The Btoomingdale World was established in 1880 by W. H. Bright, and 
is now a six-column quarto, subscription rate one dollar and twenty-five cents 
per year. This newspaper has always given more in return for what has been 
paid in subscription and other patronage to the office than most papers have 
done, being always clean, newsy and progressive. 

The town of Rosedale has had numerous newspapers, some of long and 
some of shorter duration. In searching out the list the writer finds the Clipper 
from 1896 to 1898; the Southern Parke Press, that printed its last issue Sep- 
tember 28, 1888, C. E. Hardick, editor and publisher; Wentworth & Went- 
worth published the Rosedale Tribune from 1902 on for almost four years. 
The present Tribune is edited and owned by H. Clay Owen; its size is an 
eight-page six-column paper, and is progressive in politics. 

The Neivs is a publication at Marshall. 



W'hile the recital of crimes long ago committed may not appeal to every 
reader as befitting a work of the historic kind presented in this volume, yet 
there were certain crimes — especially before the Civil war — that tend to throw 
light on the class of people in these parts and really are narratives of no little 
interest to possibly a respectable majority of the readers, hence will here be 

At least three of these crimes were committed in Liberty township. At 
an early day William Slocum, while hunting in the woods, came upon a wild 
cat dragging something from a brush heap. He killed the cat and found in its 
claws a dead infant, apparently of recent birth. A girl named Smith, living 
near by, was suspected ; but when an inquiry was begun she arose from the 
bed, dressed in man's clothes, walked to the Wabash, hailed a passing steamer 
and departed, and that was the last Liberty township ever heard of the un- 
\\edded mother. 

Luke ]\Iead, of Liberty township, was an elderly man, with a young 
wife of whom he was passionately jealous. He was also talkative and quar- 
relsome when in liquor. His jealousy was directed chiefly toward Lewis 
Thomas, and one day the two had a violent cjuarrel in the town of Lodi, now 
Waterman. Soon after they started home by different routes, and Mead was 
never again seen alive, a few days afterward being found in the beech woods 
dead. His body was greatly swollen ; by his side lay a broken whisky bottle, 
and under his thigh a dead rattle snake ! On his person were scratches which 
the witnesses thought could not have been made by the snake, and on his 
throat dark marks which might have been made by the fingers of a very 
strong man. Lewis Thomas attended the in(|uest with other neighbors, and was 
there arrested and taken before a justice. While the latter hesitated whether 
the proof was sufficient to commit. Gen. T. A. Howard passed down the road, 
returning from court at Covington, and Thomas at once employed him as 
counsel. He pressed the trial and evidence was judged insufficient to hold. 
No further action was taken, but the community held the accused guilty and 
withdrew all fellowship from him. His residence then became intolerable. 


and he went to California in 1849, where he died in 1850, in apparent peace 
and without an\- reference to the tragedy. If guilty, his case did not turn out 
in accordance with the popular notion in such cases. 

Another remarkable disproof of the popular idea "that murder will out'' 
is found in the case of Washington Hoagland. In 1855 he was residing with 
his brother Rowan in an old farm house, set far back from the road, a gloomy 
looking place, seemingly fitted by nature as the locality of mysterious crime. 
Two lewd girls had made the house their home for a few days, with a consent 
of Rowan Hoagland, and Washington had raised a disturbance about it. One 
night he was called into the yard, a scuffle occurred and next morning he was 
found there dead, in his hand a pistol, and on his throat the marks of strangu- 
lation. When he was lifted from the ground the pistol fell from his hand, 
which the ]3eople thought a proof that he did not die holding it. He was a 
strangely quiet man, almost simple-minded, and without an enemv. Strict 
examination of the brother and the girls developed no proof, though the latter 
were generally believed to have guilty knowledge of the murder. No one 
was arrested, proof being lacking, and the suspected soon after took final 
leave of the county. The experience of this township tends to prove that 
murder escapes detection as often, in proportion, as any other crime. 

Far more sensational and sorrowful was the case of Noah Beauchamp, 
the onl}' man hanged in Parke count}'. Beauchamp was a man somewhat past 
middle life, a blacksmith of heavy person, ruddy complexion and strong 
passions. His temperament was impulsive, and he was, one might say, 
unreasonably jealous of the honor of his family. He was a consistent mem- 
ber of the Baptist church, thoroughly honest in his dealings and enjoyed the 
general respect of his neighbors. His neighbor, George Mickelberry, was a 
man who also enjoyed the respect of all and no difficulty ever occurred be- 
tween the men, until the women quarreled. Delia Decker, a young woman 1i\'- 
ing at Mickelberry's, had employed one of Beauchamp's daughters to do 
some work, and charged that Mrs. Beauchamp had stolen, or rather failed to 
return, a quantity of wool entrusted to her for the work. Of course this 
soon grew to a neighborhood scandal and, coming to Beauchamp's ears, in- 
flamed him to a high degree of anger. He declared he would go immediately 
and have "the Mickelberry family take it back." On his way he passed where 
they had been cutting up meat and picked up a butcher-knife which lay on a 
stump. He said he did this thinking there might be two or three men at Mickel- 
berry's and that he would be ovei-powered if attacked. He also told a friend 
— ^but does not state the fact in his confession — that he knelt and prayed 
before reaching Mickelberry's for guidance; nevertheless, he did go there 


angry and with his knife concealed. Almost choking with anger, he ad- 
dressed some violent language to Delia Decker, when Mrs. Mickelberry arose 
and left the room. Mickelberry expostulated with him mildly, but Miss 
Decker answered by reiterating the charge that his daughter had stolen the 
wool. White with passion he said : ''If you was a man I'd cut you into shoe- 
strings." Thereupon Mickelberry laid his hand on Beauchamp and said: 
"You shall not talk that way in my house." And on the instant Beauchamp 
drew the knife and with one fearful blow buried it to the hilt in the other's 
breast. Mrs. Mickelberry testified that she heard the bone snap from the 
adjoining room. Mickelberry fell dead without a word or cry. 

For one instant the homicide stood as if paralyzed. Then he dropped the 
fatal knife and fled. Reaching the river, he stole a canoe and crossed, then 
made his way by the most direct route to Texas, then the uncommon refuge 
for the unfortunate and the criminal. TJiere he worked at his trade and- 
went by his true name, possibly thinking himself perfectly safe. But a large 
reward was offered, his description being published far and wide, and two 
adventurers in Texas arrested the fugitive. It was not easy, at that day, to 
get a man of that sort out of Texas, as the state had need of every strong 
arm, against its many enemies, and the more desperate he was the more she 
needed him. On his way back Beauchamp made one dash for liberty, knocked 
down one of the men and nearly overcame the other, but was overpowered. 
On the steamer he hanged himself with the sheet from his bed, and was 
almost dead when discovered and cut down. The crime was committed in 
the northern part of Vigo county, but Beauchamp employed Gen. T. A. 
Howard as counsel, who took a change of venue to Parke, where the pro- 
ceedings, including the appeal to the supreme court, lasted over a year. 
Howard threw all his energies into this case, and felt for his client more than 
a common interest; but it was in vain. He was sentenced to death and the 
supre'me court confirmed the sentence. No trial held in Wabash valley ever 
excited more interest, and the conduct of Mrs. MickelbeiTy, in particular, on 
the witness stand excited the deep respect of all, and even affected some to 
tears. When Ned McGaughey, who prosecuted, asked : "Can you point out 
the murderer of your husband?" the tears gathered in her eyes, as she softly 
replied : "It was the old gentleman who sits there." No part of the examina- 
tion drew from her a single angry remark about Beauchamp, to whom she 
invariably alluded, as "the old gentleman." General Howard never ceased 
his efforts to save Beauchamp's life, till he had laid a petition for commutation 
before the governor, and been sadly refused. 

On a dark, gloomy Sunday, George Howard, Joseph Ralston, Henry 


Slavens and Ludwell Robinson together went to the jail. Then Howard, with 
tears in his eyes, said to Beauchamp : "I have done all I could, but there is 
no hope; nothing remains for you but to prepare for death." Beauchamp 
replied that he was ready to die, thanked Howard warmly and requested to 
have Rev. Newport preach his funeral before the execution; then ate a light 
breakfast and made his last wishes on various matters, known to Henry 
Slavens (then editor and lawyer), who also wrote out his so-called confession. 
Friday, February 8, 1843, was a bitter cold day; but a large crowd assembled. 
Beauchamp sat in the old court house, dressed for death, and listened to his 
own funeral sermon. Then the sad procession repaired to a hollow half a 
mile east of town, where the gallows had been erected. He said no more to 
the crowd than a mere good bye. Sheriff Youmans was so agitated that his 
first blow missed the rope. The next severed it, and just as the condemned 
murmured, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit," the drop fell and, without unus- 
ual struggle, he passed to eternity. 

It is foreign to this work, but only a few years before his cousin Beau- 
champ, of Kentucky, had died the same death, and for a crime likewise com- 
mitted in defense of family honor. His wife had been seduced before mar- 
riage by one Sharpe, who later became attorney-general. The wrong was 
talked over by the young people, and finally Beauchamp became so frenzied 
that he called Sharpe out one night and killed him. The wife of the mur- 
derer clung to him to the last with most affecting devotion. As the fatal day 
drew near, both seemed exalted above the ordinary feelings of mankind. They 
prayed aloud, they sang till the jail walls echoed their fervor, and exulted 
that he was to die for no mercenary crime, but in defense of chastity and 
family honor. She rode with him to the scaffold, sustained his courage in 
the last trying moments and had inscribed on his tomb her endorsement of 
what she considered his chivalrous act. Thus died the two Beauchamps, men 
of high spirit and noble, but untrained, instincts. Men of strict honesty in 
life, but victims of illy-regulated passions. Their's were no vulgar crimes, 
and it is impossible for the generous mind not to feel a sympathy with such 
men. even while inexorable law condemns. 

Another peculiar case will be narrated in this connection : In Numa 
there had lived from a very early day one Silas Bowers, who was a business 
man, but always in some local trouble and had many suits at law. He had 
come to lie an experienced rogue. In 1854 this man whose name was Bow- 
ers lost a suit at law by the testimony of one Sidwell, and in a few nights 
afterward Sidwell's barn burned, with his crop and tools within it. The 
honest citizens rose en masse, seized Bowers and a few of his gang, whipped 


him and a hired witness, named Burke, till they confessed to the arson, then 
notified them to leave on pain of death. Burke immediately complied, after 
detailing that Bowers employed him to burn the barn, and he in turn em- 
ployed one Reeder, who really applied the torch. Reeder was chased into a 
swamp in Vigo county and there mysteriously disappeared, never to be seen 
in this section of the country. Bowers went to Terre Haute, and actually 
had the audacity to return, backed by a new gang. The society here known 
as the Regulators now saw that it was a life and death contest, as Bowers 
had not only employed attorneys and brought suits, but had a gang of sup- 
posed assassins to aid him. The citizens again captured him by stratagem, and 
whipped him so unmercifully that his back was a mass of raw and bleeding 
flesh. Then, it is reported, they tied him to a tree, placed a gun in Sidwell's 
hands and directed him to shoot Bowers, which Sidwell offered to do if 
enough of them would join to make it uncertain who fired the fatal shot. 

The country was now terribly excited. The first move of the Regula- 
tors had been generally approved; indeed, they numbered some of the best 
men in the county. But some shrank from extreme measures ; two parties 
formed, and Bowers had a few sympathizers. He left, but again returned, 
this time only asking permission to settle up his business and then leave the 
country. This the Regulators readily granted. But the mob spirit was now 
aroused, and good citizens who had started with it could no longer control it. 
Other men were now "regulated" for mere offenses against morality, and one, 
Ben Wheat, was fearfully lashed for no offenses at all that anyone can recall 
now. Meanwhile Silas Bowers had finished his settlement, placed his remain- 
ing property in the hands of a trustee and, with his Avife, had started for 
Illinois in a carriage. He had most unwisely threatened vengeance just be- 
fcte leaving, and it was whispered about that his death was determined. A 
few miles west of the Wabash he was fired upon with unerring aim by two 
men concealed ahead of him by the roadside, and fell from his carriage mor- 
tally wounded, his life blood spattering the dress of his wife by his side. The 
manner of his assassination was never successfully searched out, and it is well 
perhaps not to inquire too closely or curiously, even at this late date, as to just 
who had a hand in this affair — let the cloak of charity fall and there forever 

In 1856 occurred another murder, which may here be of some interest. 
In the school of Couse and Condit were two lads of fifteen and eighteen sum- 
mers, Oscar P. Lill and Charles H. Thompson. They got into difficulty, one 
with the other, over some small affair in a literary society, which resulted in 
Thompson stabbing and killing his classmate. Thompson fled to Mississippi, 


but was pursued and brought back the next summer. The trial was a long 
delayed one, and celebrated counsel was procured on both sides, including 
Hon. Dan Voorhees as prosecutor and Hon. R. W. Thompson, later secretary 
of the navy, for the defense. The murderer was finally sentenced for one year 
and the governor pardoned him out in a few months, when he went to Iowa, 
served honorably in the Union army, settled in New Orleans, w'here he was 
city appraiser under the reconstruction government, and after the revolution 
there in 1877 returned to Iowa. It was an unfortunate affair and the man 
Thompson, who did the criminal deed in his youthful passion, always carried 
with him the deep, sad regrets of having taken the life of a fellowman. 

Including the killing of Nillis Hart, at Montezuma, in the autumn of 
1856, Parke county had eight homicides up to 1881, of which three were 
directly due to whisky and two to lust. 

The last murder in this county was the killing of Mrs. Lottie Vollmer 
by J. C. Henning, at Rockville, in the nineties. The murderer was tried and 
hung at Crawfordsville, Montgomery county. 


In the month of April, 1896, the entire county was saddened by the 
work of an insane man named Alfred Egbert, of Rockville, who killed a Mrs. 
Herman Haschke, an innocent woman in the part of town in w'hich the insane 
man lived ; and in meeting the sheriff, Col. W. D. Mull, his trusty deputy, 
William Sweem, Agnes, a daughter of the murdered woman, aged nine 
years, and her brother, Herman, aged seven years. The work was all done 
with a shot gun, with which he killed himself while secreted in one of the 
stock stalls at the county fair grounds, thus ending one of the most terrible 
tragedies ever darkening the pages of Parke county history. The funeral of 
Colonel Mull was attended by persons from all over the county; the court 
house was heavily draped in mourning and sorrow was felt, keen and deep, 
everywhere. The old soldiers and Grand Army had charge of his burial. 
Rev. F. K. Fuson, of the Presbyterian church, preached his funeral sermon. 
This truly good man and county official. Colonel Mull, was born in Ohio, 
came here in 1840, enlisted in Company A, Fourteenth Indiana Regiment, 
served later as colonel of the One Hundred and Forty-ninth Regiment. He 
studied medicine at Jefferson Medical College and practiced medicine at 
Terre Haute till 1877. 

The deputy sheriff, also killed, was raised in Parke county, as a car- 


penter, and was a good man and inoffensive citizen, carrying out the duties 
of his office when shot down b}' this unfortunate mad man. 

The murderer, if such he might be termed, was born in Rockville in 1874, 
was by trade a carpenter and worked on the house of Dr. Mull, among his 
last jobs. Thus six human lives went out in as many hours, on Rockville soil. 




Perhaps no more accurate account of the early political complexion of 
Parke county can here be given than that expressed in a former history of 
the county by that fair-minded citizen, J. H. Beadle, from whose writings 
we here draw liberally. Among other points he makes clear of the following 
facts, put into other language, in part. 

Concerning the clerk's office in Parke county, it may be said that for 
numerous reasons there has been connected with it much of political and 
other interesting histor\'. This ofiice was held for thirty years, almost a 
generation, by two men. while that of the sheriff was frequently held more 
than five years at once by the same individual. Very few, if indeed any. 
counties in the commonwealth have been so fortunate in their county offi- 
cials. For fifty-nine years, says Mr. Beadle, down to the date of his writing, 
there was an unbroken line of county treasurers without a single defalcation. 

Again, take the map of the Hoosier state, as it was in 1840, and the 
Whig strongholds then are generally strongly Republican now. And what 
is true of Indiana is also true of the country at large. The Friends (Quak- 
ers) were nearly all Whigs, and nearly every member of that honorable so- 
ciety became radical Republicans. Reserve township, for example, was 
Democratic on the issues of tariff, bank and distribution ; it remained Demo- 
cratic when those issues were as dead as Julius Caesar, and was still Demo- 
cratic in Garfield's time as President, but on an entirely new set of political 
issues, which have no connection with the issues of 1840. Yet men are 
sometimes blamed for changing their party, though political parties are ever 
changing themselves. "Why men who held together on finance and revenue 
issues should be expected to hold together on negro suffrage and reconstruc- 
tion, is one of those things no logician can solve." 

Along about 1832-3 there seems to have been a general epidemic among 
the county officials, as to being elected and after a time handing in their 
resignations. From records it appears that many men who in 1828 had been 
Jackson men. in 1832 were anti-Jackson men. John G. Davis, who was 
elected on his popularity for sherifif in 1831, resigned in 1833. At the same 


time Coroner Johnstpn resigned, and Nugent was appointed in his stead ; but 
he, too, resigned in March, 1835, and Hugh J. Bradley was commissioned in 
his place. It was alpiost impossible to find a man in those days who would 
hold the office of coroner or probate judge. Meanwhile the county offices and 
nearly all of the records of the county were consumed by fire; the Legislature 
was appealed to and corrected the difficulty, as far as possible, by an act to 
validate titles and records, but an immense amount of trouble devolved on the 
officials, and of course the people got impatient and decided to "have a 
change," as they have in politics many times since then — sometimes for the 
better and again for a far worse administration. 

In 1823 Nathaniel Huntington and Tliomas H. Blake ran for the Legis- 
lature, to represent Parke county with Vigo, and the vote stood : Parke — 
Huntington, 79; Blake, 245. Vigo — Huntington, 138; Blake, 310. In 1824, 
Jacob Call, Thomas H. Blake and Ratliffe Boone ran for Congress; and in 
1826 the last two and Lawrence S. Shuler, of Terre Haute. But Boone was 
by this time too strong for anybody to successfully cope with him. His district 
extended from the Ohio to Lake Michigan, and he faithfully canvassed it 
e\ery campaign. Lawrence S. Shuler was the most eminent surgeon in this 
part of Indiana, and frequently went a hundred miles to perform some deli- 
cate operation. He died not long after he was a candidate, universally la- 
mented. Boone's next competitor was John Law, who brought into the can- 
vass of his district great energy. He and Governor James B. Ray made a 
thorough canvass of the district in 1828, holding forth at every settlement, 
and people came as far as thirty miles in canoes and on horseback to hear 
them speak. One niglit they were swamped in the Wea plains, but found a 
house at ten next morning, got breakfast and fresh horses, and galloped on 
to their next appointment. Boone continued to represent this district as long 
as he cared to ( Parke, however, was soon cut off in a more northern district) , 
then went to Missouri, and, after all, died in comparative obscurity. There 
is much talk of the purity of politics at that early date, but upon a slight ex- 
amination into the records, it will be seen that candidates abused one another 
then even more violently than in these latter times, and more rudely and 
coarsely, too. 

Judicial circuits were on the same broad scale, and for years lawyers and 
judges (same as Lincoln and Douglas tra\eled togetlier) went from Terre 
Haute to Laporte on horseback, carrying their documents in leather saddle- 
bags. Only the toughest physiques could stand such exposure ; the weaklings 
died young men, or went back to older communities, and so natural selection 
secured the survival of the fittest. Hence it was, that out of the pioneer law- 


yers came a grand galaxy of great men : John Law, from Vincennes ; Blake 
Huntington and Farrington, from Terre Haute; Caleb B. Smith, from farther 
east ; Joseph A. Wright, Tilghman A. Howard and William P. Bryant, from 
Rockville; Hannegan, Patterson and Wallace, from Covington; Lane, Curry 
and Wilson, from Crawfordsville. Of the early lawyers who frequently 
practiced at Rockville, five afterward graced the bench, seven became mem- 
bers of Congress, and at least two became United States senators. Joseph A. 
Wright became governor and minister to Berlin; Bryant became chief justice 
of Oregon, and Howard, charge d'affaires to the new republic of Texas. 
Later came E. W. McGaughey, who was in Congress several terms, and 
Thomas Nelson twice represented this country abroad, in cases of extreme 
delicacy and with great success. Indeed the bar of Rockville continued to 
shine with brilliant and unusual luster down to if not later than 1852, after 
which many of the talented men removed to larger fields of operation in the 
West and Southwest. The Civil war came on and a new class of thinkers 
and workers obtained hold and have managed things at the bar in a different 
and more modern manner, but in no case excelling those of earlier years. 

As a matter of fact, each recurring campaign brought forth some new 
and generally local issue in politics in Parke county, and these issues tended to 
make factional fights within the parties and made a very unsettled state of 
affairs. First came the question of a national road, which was partly sur- 
veyed in 1827. One set of civil engineers reported in favor of a route from 
Greencastle, with a bridge across the Wabash at Clinton; another from Terre- 
Haute, and a third from a point some distance below. Vigo county secured 
the Representative and Terre Haute got the road. Before its completion 
Terre Haute people going to Indianapolis went north to Markle's Mills, then 
followed the east bluff of the wet prairies and Raccoon to Bridgeton, crossed 
the Raccoon and went up to Dixon's Mills, where they crossed again and 
followed the highest land eastward. 

Then the Wabash and Erie canal became a question; it excited violent 
discussions for a score or more years before it was finally completed, as it did 
occasionally years thereafter. 

One writer on this topic said: "In 1825 Joseph M. Hayes, of Monte- 
zuma, announced himself a candidate for the Legislature, with a spirited ad- 
dress to the people, in which he claimed the power to do much for the canal 
if elected. The canal and other schemes in way of internal improvement con- 
tinued to agitate the people for the next twelve years ; then came the sweep- 
ing panic of 1837, knocking all such matters into insignificance and turning 
the people's minds toward finance. The first period involved the questions 


most natural to a new country, and national issues came only incidentalh- ; 
the second era was the day of national issues, from 1837 to 1854, and the 
third was memorable for the exciting sujjjects of slaveiy, war and reconstruc- 
tion. It is also curious to note that the old document from which Hayes' 
letter was copied, relative to the canal issue, also states that a Mr. Deweese 
had run a keel-boat to Roseville, and introduced the first rats into Parke 
county — they landed from that boat !" 

In 1840 the Whigs swept everything. In March, 1841, they expected 
an immediate and great improvement, and Parke county property took a sud- 
den rise : John Tyler vetoed the bank bill, and property took a tumble. Then 
the western people finally surrendered the hope of a national paper money, 
and entered on that era of financial chaos and interminable state and local 
banks, which lasted over twenty years. In 1842 the ^^'higs were di\'ided and 
made a rather poor showing in this valley; but early in 1843 they were again 
harmonious, and set to work with a fury and partisan bitterness that seems 
wild to the present reader. The newspapers and speakers were all high-keyed 
and said many harsh, bitter and personal things one against the other, but to 
no avail to the Clay defenders — their idol was defeated. The Whig party, 
after its triumph of 1848, slowly passed away; slavery became the paramount 
issue, and that led to war. In that great civil strife Parke county bore a 
glorious part, the history of which appears in another chapter in this work. 
After the Civil war had ended, for many years the returned soldiers, backed 
by their friends, dictated the policy and the offices of the county, until about 
1890-96, wdien a younger generation of politicians took the reins of county 
government into theirhands and in a measure relegated the old guards to the 
rear, while some of the officials in the county have been Democratic and 
others Republican. The "stand-patter" and the "progressive" is no new thing 
in Parke county politics — they have thrived here for these three score years 
and more, and are still in evidence. 


It is impossible to give full presidential election returns, but the follow- 
ing fragmentary account will give the reader a general idea of the political 
complexion of national matters in Parke county : 

1864 — Lincoln (R) 2,112 1872 — (irant (R) (Majority.^ 983 

McClellan (D) 1,236 1876— Hayes (R) 2,429 

1868— (No record) Tilden (D) 1,817 



1880— Garfield (R) (Major- 
ity) 797 

1884— Cleveland (D) 1,929 

Blaine (R) 2,562 

1888— Harrison (R) 2,768 

Cleveland (D) 2,160 

1892 — Grover Cleveland (D)- 1,993 
Benjamin Harrison (R) 

1896— William McKinley (R)_2,8i8 
William J. Br3'an (D) -2,590 
Prohibition candidate __ 40 

People's Party 156 

Gold Standard 10 

National 46 

1900 — William McKinley (R) -3,064 
William J. Bryan (D) -2,587 
Prohibition candidate __ 205 

People's Party 6 

Socialists 6 

Social Democrats 66 

Union Reform 13 

1904 — Theodore Roosevelt (R) 


Alton B. Parker (D)__2,i76 

1908— William Howard Taft 

(R) 2,939 

William J. Bryan (D) -2,647 

Prohibition candidate 307 

Socialists 197 



P.Y Prof. .John A. LiNEn.\Rt;KR. 

We, of our day and age, are so accustomed to the rights and privi- 
leges we enjoy that it does not occur to us that we are reaping the result of 
the earnest thought and endeavors of the men who have preceded us. This 
is as true in the field of education as elsewhere. We somehow fail to remem- 
ber with proper appreciation the pioneers who laid the basis for our splendid 
system of public education. 

As we have noted the meager beginning and ha\'e seen the wonderful 
growth and development, the organization, the supervision, the course of 
study, the changed teaching force, we are interested to know what has been 
the impetus that has brought this progress to us. 

The famous Ordinance of 1787 declares "Religion, morality and knowl- 
edge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, 
schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." The spirit 
of this ordinance is found in both constitutions adopted by the state. It seems 
to us that the men who have guided our state caught the meaning, for the in- 
junction has been performed to the fullest in both letter and spirit. 

We point with pride to our elementary and secondary schools and spend 
almost a million dollars annually in support of our higher institutions of learn- 
ing. How vitally the schools have affected the life of the state we can realize 
onl)- in part. 

As Indiana has not been tardy in the work of education, so the history 
of the schools of this county shows that Parke has alwaxs kept abreast the 
educational thought of Indiana and the nation. 

It is much to be regretted that so very little is know n of the beginnings 
of our school system in the various townships of the county. It appears that 
our earliest schools were established about 1830. Sugar Creek township's 
first school house was located on Wolf creek in 1829, with Nathaniel Mor- 
gan as teacher. Another school was established north of the Xarrows in 
1830. Three schools were organized in Howard township in 1830; one in 
section 16 in the northern part, one in the southern and one in the eastern 


part of the township. The earliest school in Liberty township was near 
Sylvania. with Isaac Hobson as teacher. 

Reserve township's first school was in the Linebarger settlement in the 
house of Josiah Horgar, his son being the teacher. One year later, in 1825, 
the first school house was erected in this neighborhood. James Siler taught 
the first school in the southern part of the township in a vacant cabin near 
the residence of Solomon Allen, who boarded the teacher for thirty-seven 
and one-half cents per week. 

Probably the first school in Union township was taught in the small log 
structure which stood for many years on the Burton farm just east of Bell- 
more. A more pretentious early building near Bellmore, which is thus de- 
scribed, may serve as typical of the best of the primitive school buildings. 
"The school house was four cornered. One corner was used for a fireplace 
and from this ascended a chimney. The floor was 'ready made.' Lumber 
was generally too scarce, so it was thought that the ground would do. When 
floors were put in they were made of puncheon. The window was an opening- 
provided by leaving a log out of the side of the house and covering it with 
greased paper. The roof was of clapboards fastened down by a binder, as one 
would make safe a load of hay on a wagon. The seats were halves of logs 
with flat sides up and wooden pins for legs. There were no desks. Along 
the side of the house and below the window, that there might be as much 
light as possible, was an eighteen-inch plank used as a writing desk. Big and 
little reached up and bent down that they might learn to write. If there were 
any other fixtures besides the benches and writing desk they were in keeping 
with the style of house." 

In 1839 a school house was built in what is now No. i district in Florida 
township. It was built by subscription for both school and church purposes. 

G. K. Lankford was the first school trustee elected in Raccoon town- 
ship. Prominent among the early teachers were William Goodin, Hugh Vin- 
zant, G. L. Bailey and Calvin Pruett. 

The first school house in Washington township was built in what was 
known as the "lost quarter." The first teacher was John McBride. Enoch 
Kersey taught the first school in the Roaring Creek settlement in 1833. It 
was a subscription school, Mr. Kersey receiving two dollars per scholar per 

The first school in Adams townshiji was taught by John McGinnis in the 
Andrew Ray log cabin on the northeast corner of the square, after Ray had 
moved into his new home. This was in the early twenties. Other early 
teachers in this township and town were William Noel, Jeremiah Depew, 


John Hayes. Lucinda Depew, John Garrigus, Jesse Lowe and Judge IMorris. 
In 1837 an effort was made to secure Asbury University (now DePauw) and 
liberal subscriptions were made, but Greencastle was successful. 

It is impossible to state just what qualifications were required of the 
early teachers. There was no uniformity, even in the county. The patrons 
were the judges of the qualifications of one who wished to teach their chil- 
dren. However, we do know that he was a severe disciplinarian, who be- 
lieved that the rod should not be spared, and many tales are told of the 
"awful" floggings that were begun by the teacher on the opening day of 
school and continued as an essential feature throughout the term. The writer 
had the pleasure of hearing "first hand" of the general condition and the 
character and scope of the work of our early schools. He was qualified to 
speak because he attended school in the early forties and taught in the early 
fifties. In the earliest schools, the "three R's" only were taught, "Readin", 
Ritin' and Rithmetic," to the Rule of Three. By 1840 some history and geog- 
raphy were added to the curriculum. The early teacher received a salary of 
about twenty dollars per month and "boarded around." 

It is impossible to say when the teacher ceased to teach subscription 
schools and became a teacher of public schools under a real system. How- 
ever, in 1 86 1 we find Parke county with a school examiner, whose duty seems 
to have been to pass upon the scholarship of an applicant. Later he was given 
the added duty of visiting the schools of the county and reporting to the state 
superintendent of public instruction. Each examiner determined in his own 
way as to the standing of the applicant. Barnabas C. Hobbs thus describes 
his first examination : "The only question asked me was, 'What is the product 
of twenty-five cents by twenty-five cents?" As the question did not occur in 
Pike's arithmetic, I could not answer it. The examiner thought it was six 
and one-fourth cents, but he was not sure. We discussed its merits for an 
hour or more, when he decided that he was sure I was qualified to teach 
school, and a first-class certificate was given me." Mr. Hobbs probably did 
more than any one man to give Parke county recognition in the educational 
world. For more than fifteen years he was principal of Friends Blooming- 
dale Academy. Then in 1866 he was elected president of Earlham College 
and in 1868 he became state superintendent of public instruction. While hold- 
ing this office he was chosen chairman of the committee for considering a 
scheme for federal aid to education in all states where it might be needed. In 
1 87 1 he returned to Bloomingdale and again assumed the principalship, which 
position he filled several years more. 

In 1873 the General Assembly abolished the office of county examiner 


and created that of county superintendent, or rather merely changed the 
name and enlarged the powers of the old office. Mr. Siler was the first super- 
intendent of Parke county. 

The list of county examiners and county superintendents, date of elec- 
tion, and length of term follows : 

Wilson Hobbs — June 4, 1861, one year. 

Edwin F. Hadley — September 4, 1862, two years. 

Chester G. Bartholomew — June 14, 1864, one year. 

John M. McLaughlin — June 9, 1865, two years. 

Joseph Fox worth}' — June 11, 1867, one year. 

Ared F. White — June 5, 1868, five years. 

Elwood C. Siler — June 2, 1873, two years, eight months. 

Oliver Bulion — January 28, 1876. five years. 

W. H. Elson — June, 1881. ten years. 

Charles E. Vinzant — June. 1891, six years. 

Jesse M. Neet — ^June, 1897. fourteen years. 

Homer J. Skeeters — February. 191 1, to present time. 

The foundation work for the county institute is to be credited largely 
to Superintendent Elson. although the development has come through many 
vears and each superintendent has contributed his .share. In 1887 the en- 
rollment was 171 and the cost $205.00. In 1912 the enrollment was t6o and 
the cost $340.00. It is doubted if any movement in the schools of any state 
has been a greater source of inspiration than has the county in.stitute, liring- 
ing as it does the best men of this and other states with messages of clieer. 

Along with the county institute has come the township institute, \\hich 
has been of direct benefit to the schools. The teachers of the several town- 
ships meet and discuss questions of local interest and study books which deal 
with the history of education, psychology of the child, method of the recita- 
tion or possibly a text which is wholly inspirational. These books are se- 
lected and outlined for study by the state board of education. Each town- 
ship chooses its leader; but once each year, in each township, the county su- 
perintendent is the leader. 

One cannot write a history of the development of the schools of this 
county without speaking of the Indiana Young Peo])le's Reading Circle move- 
ment. This movement began in 1884. but it was se\eral years lief ore it was 
a vital factor in the schools of the county. This work was furthered greatly 
by the unceasing energy of Superintendent J. M. Neet. Mr. Neet for six 
years was a member of the Indiana Young People's Reading Circle board 
and had the honor to ser\'e for two years as its president. More than one 


year of his term this count_v was the banner county of tlie state and tliousands 
of good books are purchased each year and placed in the hands nf the chil- 
dren of the county as a result of his efforts in that line. 

Consolidation can only be said to be in use in two townships and in 
those two, Liberty and Reserve, it is not carried out in the largest sense. 
Several other townships have abandoned schools and now transport the pupils 
to adjoining districts, but without changing the conditions of the sclinol 
affairs of the district that cares for the children. 

Township high schools have made a marvelous growth since the town- 
ship high school law passed by the General Assembly of igoi, whereb\- the 
township trustees may provide secondary education. At the present time the 
following townships maintain high schools: Florida, at Rosedale; Union, at 
Bellmore: Wabash, at Mecca; Washington, at Marshall: Raccoon, at Bridge- 
ton, and Liberty, at Tangier. Superintendent Skeeters has been very instru- 
mental in getting the standard of his township high schools such that the 
state board of education will place them on the list of certified and accredited 
schools. Besides these township high schools there are three other schools 
offering secondary in.struction : The public high schools of Rockville and 
Montezuma, and Friends Bloomingdale Academy. 

The academy has had an interesting history. In 1845 Harvey Thomas, 
a well known educator of Pennsylvania, conceived the idea of establishing a 
Western manual labor school for the purpose of furnishing a thorough edu- 
cation to young persons of both sexes. At first there was a farm of about 
forty acres on which a suitable building was erected. It was soon discovered 
that the manual labor .system, though correct in theory, was not at all practi- 
cable on the small scale here tried and the plan was abandoned. The Friends 
church had l^een much interested and decided to take over the property. Ac- 
cordingly the Friends Bloomingdale Academy was chartered under the law, 
to be managed and controlled by the Bloomingdale quarterly meeting of the 
Friends church. The board of trustees selected the principal and ga\e direct 
control to him. Those who have served in this capacity are B. C. Hobbs, 
Seth Hastings, John Chawner, Josiah P. Edwards, Thomas Armstrong, A. 
F. Mitchell, Irving King, W. J. Reagan, R. S. Coppock, William Hill and 
Milton J. Ho\-er. Three years ago Prof. William Hill, a former resident of 
Bloomingdale, but now connected with Chicago L^niversity, organized the 
academy for the purpose of eventually establishing an agricultural school. The 
citizens of Bloomingdale and the friends of the academ)- were greatly pleased 
by his plan and much assistance was given the school. The grounds \vere 
beautified, the buildings remodeled, the faculty increased, courses in agricul- 


tnre and domestic science were offered. An agricultural guild was estab- 
lished by a number of farmers of the communit3^ The present principal, 
Mr. Hover, has been working in sympathy with that movement. It cannot 
be told just how permanently the purpose of the academy has been changed, 
but the movement is laudable. The alumni of the academy numbers more 
than two hundred and fifty, the first class having graduated in 1869. 

The attempt at graded schools in Rockville, the county seat, probably 
dates back to 1832. In 1839 Parke County Seminary was organized. A 
brick building was erected in the west part of town. James Brown was the 
principal and Matthew Simpson, later Bishop Simpson, was the assistant. In 
1873 a new building was erected at a cost of thirty-six thousand dollars. The 
graded schools were held here and the old seminary building was used for a 
colored school and is so used to the present day. Rockville is the only town 
in the county that provides separate schools for the colored race, instruction 
in both common school and high school studies being given in their own build- 
ing. The building of 1873 becoming inadequate, due to the increased attend- 
ance in high school, a fine modern building was erected in 1908. This has 
been a very strong factor, promoting interest in the schools, being a matter 
of common pride of the pupils and patrons as well. That the town and com- 
munity has availed itself of the high school is shown by the fact that four 
hundred and twenty-five have graudated from the high school since 1876. 
Rockville has always been fortunate in having as members of her board of 
education able and public-spirited citizens who have been glad to serve the 
best interests of the town and community. The present board consists of J. S. 
McFadden, president: O. M. Teague, secretary, and W. S. Ferguson, treas- 

In order that the statistical report of the present county superintendent 
may mean anything in showing the advancement of the schools I shall briefly 
give some comparative figures : 

In 1870 there were 118 schools: in 1912 there were no schools. 

In 1870 the total enrollment in the grades was 5,232, and in the high 
school, 142: in 1912 the total enrollment in the grades was 4,530, and in the 
high school, 383. 

In 1870 the average length of the school year was 98 days, Howard 
and Greene townships having 58 days and Rockville 178 days; in 19 12 the 
average length of the school year was 147 days, Howard and Sugar Creek 
townships having 120 days and Rockville 165. 

In 1870 there were 131 teachers — 92 males and 39 females; in 1912 
there were 178 teachers — 69 miles and 107 females. 


In 1870 there were four teachers employed in high school work; in 1912 
thirty teachers gave all their time to high school work. 

Average wages in 1870 were $2.00 per day; average wages in 1912 were 
$2.90 per day. 

In 1870 the value of school buildings was $89,000 and the value of equip- 
ment was $6,900; in 1912 the value of school buildings was $230,000 and 
the value of equipment was $10,000. 

In 1870 the total tuition expenditure was $26,688.05; in 1912 the total 
tuition expenditure was $73,415.86. 

In 1870 the total special school fund expended was $14,091.51 ; in 191 2 
the total special school fund expended was $68,551.29. 

Such is a brief sketch of the development and progress made in the 
schools of Parke county. It is a record of which every citizen can be justly 
proud. And best of all, we are not content with the attainments already 
reached, but we can foresee even greater progress in the next quarter of a 
century than has taken place in the last half century. 



Agriculture and coal mining operations are the two leading industries 
and sources from which wealth is derived in Parke county. It was by the 
former that the sturdy pioneers made their living, and really is the great 
source which has developed the county into its present state of prosperity 
and perfection. The various township histories will deal considerably on 
this subject, in connection w^ith the development of the county, but it will be 
well here to note some of the points connected with the resources of the 
county from these two industries. 

The land is somewhat more hilly than in other parts of the state, yet 
there are thousands of acres of rich alluvial soil within Parke county that 
yields up its annual harvest to gladden and repay the industrious husband- 
man. It is seen in reports made to the state in 1880 — nearly a third of a 
century ago — wliich gives the following report of the productions of this 
county : 

In 1880, Parke county produced in bushels: Wheat, 636,000; oats, 
68,000; clover seed, 3,600; corn, 1,085,942; Irish potatoes, 14,000; fall and 
winter apples, 78,000; peaches, 4,600; and of small fruits, 45,000 pounds of 
excellent grapes, 1,500 gallons of strawberries. 8,200 gallons of currants, 
blackberries and raspberries, 6,000, vyith many cherries, etc. In the month 
of August, 1881, it was reported to the state that Parke county had growing 
38,000 acres of Indian corn; 11,000 of timothy meadow; 11,000 of clover; 
35,000 in blue grass ; and that the year previous it had produced 32,000 gal- 
lons of cider, 11,500 of sorghum, 7,000 of maple syrup and made 28,000 
pounds of butter. The number of cattle reported that season was 16,000 
head; fattening hogs, 33,000; .stock hogs, 21,000; sheep, 29,000 head, from 
which wool was clipped amounting to 100,000 pounds. The same year there 
were 150,000 chickens, 6,400 geese and ducks, 700 stands of bees, with a 
production of 8,800 pounds of honey. 

For the vear ending, April, 1881, there was mined in Parke county. 
8,000 tons of bituminous coal; number of coal miners. 166; 200 tons of fire- 
clay. It had sixty miles of first class turnpike, with twenty-five miles more 


under construction. The present number of miles of gravel roads is some- 
thing over eight hundred miles, second to only two in Indiana. 

In 1910 Parke county, according to the United States census bulletins, 
had 2,448 farms, and were classed as follows: 183 had from three to nine 
acres; 146 had from ten to nineteen acres; 475 had from twenty to forty- 
nine acres; 669 had from fifty to ninety-nine acres; 581 had from one hun- 
dred to one hundred and seventy-four acres ; 250 had from one hundred and 
seventy-five to two hundred and fifty-nine acres; 118 had from two hundred 
and sixty to five hundred acres; 21 had from five hundred to one thousand 
acres; 5 had from one tliousand acres and over. The total land area was 
286,080. Land in farms. 256.392 acres. Improved land in farms, 166,741 
acres; woodland in farms, 67,326 acres; per cent, of area of land in farms. 
89.6; average number acres in a farm in the county, 104 J/> acres. 

The value of all farm property in 1910 was placed at $18,234,495. In- 
crease in value in last decade,' 87 per cent. Average value per acre, $51.27. 
Value of cattle, $464,000; horses, $890,000: mules, $103,000: swine, $298,000: 
sheep, $89,490: poultry, $90,600: colonies of bees, 987: value of bees, $3,852. 


More than half a century ago Parke county farmers took steps to organ- 
ize and sustain agricultural societies and associations, some of these being 
successful many years, while others fell for want of united interest and effort. 
Parke and Vermillion counties were long associated together in county agri- 
cultural and annual fair enterprises. The old newspaper files disclose the 
facts that in 1855 and on through the Civil war period up to and including 
1865, fairs were held annually by these sister counties, jointly, some of which 
were held at Montezuma, while others were held elsewhere. Another ac- 
count shows that the Parke County Agricultural Society was holding its first 
annual fair in 1880, after a lapse of more than twenty years. The tair 
grounds were dedicated; McCune's Band was present and an admission was 
charged to the grounds on the day of public dedication. Races ^\■ere had 
between some of the fastest horses in Indiana. The president was S. Ceil- 
ings; vice-president, James A. Allen; secretary, Da\'id H. Webb; treasurer, 
N. W. Cummings; general superintendent, Shelby C. Puett. The grounds 
consisted of forty acres, with a splendid driving or race track; Ladies Hall, 
and many stock sheds and stalls. No "skin-games" of gaming and gambling 
were allowed on the grounds, no matter what price was tendered them by 
such gamesters. 


In June, 1866, there was held what was known as the Parke County 
Horticuhural and Rural Institute, at Bloomingdale. The president was E. C. 
Silers; treasurer, Perley Pearson; secretary, John M. Hill. 

At all of these exhibits there were hundreds of fine displays in farm, 
garden, fruit, stock and handiwork, all from Parke county. 

At Bridgeton, Raccoon township, in the spring of i860, Abel Mitchell 
offered a premium for the best colt that could be shown in Bridgeton in June. 
At the appointed time there were twenty colts brought and about five hundred 
persons were present. This gave the idea of a fair. June i6th, that year, 
was organized what was styled the Bridgeton Union Agricultural Society, 
which became a joint-stock company and was incorporated. The fair grounds 
consisted of about twenty acres, with a good trotting race course. In 1880 
the reports show the society to have been in a flourishing condition. A few 
years later, however, all fairs in this county went down, including the Rock- 
ville fair, which closed about 1890. 


A record was kept on Silver Island, from 1834 to 1881, by Norburn 
Thomas, which shows the weather and crops in that vicinity for the years 
included in the period named: 

1834 — All grain in bottom destroyed. 

1835-36-37-38 and '39 — Raised a good crop. 

1840 — Wheat badly rusted. 

1841-42 — A crop. 

1843 — Half destroyed. 

1844 — All destroyed July 7th. 

1845 to 1850 — A crop. 

1 85 1 — All destroyed June 15th. 

1852-3-4 — Vei-y dry season. 

1855 — A crop and very wet year. 

1856 — No summer so dry since the settlement of county. 

1857 — Driest spring ever witnessed. 

1858 — Crop all destroyed. 

1859-62 — Good crops. 

1863 — Corn all frost bitten. 

1864 — Short crops. 

1865 — Partly lost in October. 


1866-7 — Crops good. 

1868— Half lost. 

1869-73 — Fair crops. 

1875 — All destroyed; highest water ever seen. 

1876— One-third lost. 

1877 — A good crop. 

1878-9 — Small portion lost. 

1880 — To June ist, one- third lost so far. 




The state railroad commissioner's reports for 191 1-2 show the number 
of miles of each railroad in Parke county, main track, as follows : Central 
Indiana, 15.38; Brazil division. of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois, 26.08; 
Terre Haute division, Chicago & Eastern Illinois, 4.21; Chicago, Indiana & 
Western, 20.89; Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis, 1.07; Toledo, 
St. Louis & Western, 3.08; Vandalia, 23.44. This makes a total of 91.45 
miles of main trackage in Parke county. 

By an old newspaper file at Rockville, dated November 20, 1859, it is 
gleaned that at that date the first attempt, in public, to secure a railroad foi" 
Parke county was made, by holding a mass meeting at the court house, that 
week, to look toward securing the Evansville & Crawfordsville line. The 
company wanted Parke county to donate, in subscriptions, money to the 
amount of sixty thousand dollars. There were subscriptions made at this 
meeting amounting to ten thousand dollars. The work went forward, men 
. worked for and against the project, and meeting after meeting was held, 
but subscription was not popular. 1861 came and with it the Civil war 
opened, which stopped all such enterprises. After the war, the county was 
still without a railroad line. Coal had been struck in paying quantities in 
many sections of the county, and was seeking its outlet to the great outside 
world, through some system of transportation. Five different lines sought 
to enter or cross this county in the early seventies, and all but two failed to 
accomplish their iam. First, the Logansport, Crawfordsville & Southwest- 
ern, which was surveyed to Rockville in 1870, commenced to be constructed 
in 1871, and was completed to Rockville in 1872. Soon the old Evansville 
& Chicago line was leased to this company and it then made direct connec- 
tions between Terre Haute and Logansport. 

The east and west road, later styled the Indianapolis, Decatur & Spring- 
field line, had already gotten as far from the west as Montezuma, this county, 
by the time of the 1873 panic, and by a series of mysterious business negotia- 
tions, its course was turned to the northeast and by Bloomingdale, and it 
was finally completed across the county in 1877-8. So it will be observed 


that Rockville, the county seat, had, with the central part of the county, a 
splendid grade and right-of-way, while the northern portion had the road 
itself; the crossing, instead of being at Rockville, as popular belief was that 
it would be, was at an inconsiderable way station, with several small towns 
and hamlets, instead of the concentrated railroad and commercial interests 
usually found at a county seat. The road, starting out from Attica, Foun- 
tain county, was destined, it was supposed, to run through this county, en- 
route to the southeast, but after several miles of track had been provided for 
in this county, it found its coal interests led it farther to the west, hence that 
did not materialize to do any commercial good for Rockville. 

After the shifting scenes of a full third of a century and more of pro- 
posed and completed steam railways, in this county the list has been narrowed 
down to these : The road from Terre Haute to the northeast, known as the 
Vandalia (of the Pennsylvania system) ; the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton 
line,- from Montezuma eastward across the county; the Chicago & Eastern 
Illinois, running from north to south through Parke county, entering the 
territory in Liberty township and passing out at the south from Florida town- 
ship; the Central Indiana line. The commissioner's reports on the mileage 
of these various roads is found at the commencement of this item, and gives 
a total of less than ninety-six miles of road, but which gives ample outlet for 
the products of Parke county, in all directions one may desire to ship in or 


Some of the enterprising men tried toring for oil, but that was soon 
shown to be a geological absurdity in this county. Then all talk was about 
coal. Before the war. Professors Cox and Brown had made a hasty survey 
of Parke and shown that it was fortunately located on the eastern edge of the 
great Illinois coal field. Then local enthusiasts took up the work and proved 
that this county contained enough workable coal to supply the world for a 
thousand years. Later surveys lowered this claim a little, but proved be- 
yond controversy that Parke had eight good seams and enough for all prac- 
tical purposes. Mines were opened in every section of the count}', but it 
soon appeared that there would be no market without a railroad, and in a 
little while no less than five lines were laid off through the county, of which 
two were actually completed. First was the Logansport, Crawfordsville & 
Southwestern, which was surveyed to Rockville in 1870. Work began in 
1871 and trains started to Rockville early in 1872. Soon after, the company 


leased that part of the old Evansville & Chicago, above Terre Haute, and 
after that the road was managed entirely by them from Logansport to Terre 

Meanwhile the mining interests had developed rapidly. On Sand creek, 
three to four miles northeast of Rockville, private banks had been worked 
for many years ; but the sun^ey developed the fact that immense wealth in 
coal was waiting development there, and as soon as the Logansport railroad 
reached the locality active business began. The Sand Creek Coal Company, 
the- French Mine Company, and several individuals worked the ground 
actively for a while, and the large and flourishing village of Nyesville sprang 
up in the beech wood. For a long time development was hindered by strikes 
and other results of the ill adjustment of labor and capital, but ere long the 
coal mine there established a reputation which made it the preferred of all 
the accessable markets for heating and steam making. Long before the war 
there had been some coal mined from the Wabash bluffs, in Florida township, 
but now the improved transportation gave it a great stimulus, and the village 
of Clinton Locks was in like manner built up by miners and their families. 
And similarly, the mines on Lower Raccoon built Rosedale and other settle- 

Coming down to the present day, the mining reports of Indiana give us 
these figures: Number of tons coal produced in Parke county in 1910, 
728,000 tons ; wages paid for mining the same, $780,260. The names of the 
mines operating in Parke county in 1910 were: Brazil, No. 9, seam four 
feet and three inches thick ; Superior No. 2, four feet and four inches thick ; 
Superior No. 3, three feet and three inches thick; Superior No, 5, three feet 
and three inches thick; Fairview, five feet seam; Parke No, 11, six feet six 
inches thick; Parke No. 12, six feet seven inches thick; Lyford No. i, six 
feet in thickness; Moore, four feet thick; Harrison, three feet five inches 
thick; No, i, four feet two inches thick. 

The only mining accident reported during the year 19 10 was that at 
Superior mine No. 3, where an Italian named Carlo Ponti was killed by a 
premature blast, on July 25th of that year. 

Coal was retailing at Rockville in the autumn of 19 12 at about three 
dollars and twenty-five cents per ton, thus giving the population cheap fuel 
for both domestic and manufacturing purposes. 



The first banking carried on in Rockville was by tbe Rockville Bank, 
organized in 1853. Besides some eastern capitalists, General Steele, Persius 
Harris and a few others became stockholders of a concern of which Brock- 
way and Levings of Cleveland, Ohio, were the chief factors, commencing 
with an ad\-ertised capital of $300,000. A three-ton fire-proof safe was 
brought from Terre Haute and placed in the Harris building, a three-story 
structure where Dooley's hardware stands. A force of men and twelve 
yoke of oxen succeeded in transporting the safe as far as the Armiesburg 
bridge, when all stood from under and held their breath while the ponderous 
load went safely over with its burden ! It was not long before the capitalists 
of the East and the Rockvike men had different views on finances and liank- 
ing management, and the Parke County Bank was organized and commenced 
business September i, 1855, with a capital of $100,000. The first directors 
were : Alexander McCune, I. J. Silliman, John Sunderland, P. E. Harris, 
G. K. Steele, E. M. Benson, Dr. James L. Allen, John Milligan and Salmon 
Lusk. In July, 1863, the stockholders concluded to wind up their affairs 
and apply for a charter for a national bank. The board of directors was 
fixed at nine and the capital at $125,000, and on September ist the assets of 
the old corporation were turned over to the First National Bank and the lat- 
ter assumed the liabilities of the fomrer. General Steele had been president 
of the Parke County Bank from its first formation; he was now elected 
president of the national bank, and continued to be annually elected until 
1 87 1, when he declined to serve longer. Calvin W. Levings had also been 
cashier of the old bank from its inception, and he continued in that position 
in the National bank. In 1864 the capital was increased to $150,000 and in 
1869 to $200,000. In July, 1877, the affairs of the bank were wound up, 
and a new charter was received under the name of the National Bank of 
Rockville, with a capital of $100,000. The First National Bank of Rock- 
ville was the sixty-third national bank incorporated in the United States. 
Their building was completed in 1869, and went through the disastrous fire 
in 1870, unscathed. The charter of this bank expired May 14, 1897, when 
the title was changed to that of the Rockville National Bank and a new- 
charter secured. In 1896 the capital of this institution was $100,000: de- 
posits, $152,000; resources and liabilities, $318,815. Its present capital 
stock is $50,000; surplus and profits, $78,431 ; circulation, $50,000: deposits 
in November. 1912, were $424,657, thus making its liabilities $548,439.36. 


Its table of resources as shown in statement of September, 1912, were: 
Loans and discounts, $221,435.03; overdrafts, $5.12; United States bonds 
for circulation, $50,000; bonds, securities, etc., $113,151.06; banking house 
and fixtures, $20,000; cash in vaults, $29,340.69: cash due from banks, 
$112,007.46; due from United States treasurer, $2,500; total, $548,439.36. 
This bank belongs on the "Roll of Honor," showing tliat it possesses surplus 
and profits in excess of capital, thus giving tangible evidence of strength and 
security. Of the 7,500 National Banks in this country, only 1,300 occupy 
this proud position, and this Rockville institution is among the number. It 
goes without saying that it has been won by merit and worth alone. 

In the original bank building, erected in 1869, provision was made for 
what was long known as the National Hall, a public auditorium, seating six 
hundred persons. It had a large stage and a handsome drop curtain, well 
remembered by many now residing here in Rockville. It had dressing rooms 
and was fully up-to-date. Its roof had a resort place where many select 
parties were held, and there they surveyed the attractive landscape presented 
by nature round about the town. Here hundreds viewed the total eclipse 
of the sun in August, 1869, a rare sight for any generation of men to behold. 
Concerts were held there, men and women were there united in marriage, and 
many happy gatherings were there assembled. But, like all earthly things, 
the building was doomed. On November 16, 1906, it was burned and the 
present magnificent brick structure was built the following year, and in it 
the ppstoffice is kept. This building and its elegant fixtures would do credit 
to any city in the country. 

The officers of this concern have been in part as follows : Presidents, 
• George K. Steele, Alexander McCune, Nathan Pickett; (National Bank of 
Rockville) J. M. Nichols to January i, 1894; S. L. McCune from January 
I, 1894, until expiration of charter, .May 14, 1897; (Rockville National 
Bank) S. L. McCune, until January 3, 1897; S. T. Catlin, from June 3, 
1897, to December, 1908, when he died; F. H. Nichols, from December 12, 
T908, to the present time, November, 1912. 

The cashiers have been : Calvin W. Levings, S. A. Hornick, William 
Magill, William E. Livengood, S. L. McCune, F. H. Nichols, from 1894 to 
expiration of the charter May 14, 1897, and under the new charter until 
elected president in December, 1908; A. T. Brockway, present cashier. The 
present assistant cashier is W. H. Dukes; also Edgar Teague. M. H. Case 
is the present vice-president. S. L. and M. H. McCune were former vice- 

The Parke State Bank was organized, as the Parke Banking Company, 


by A. K. Stark, D. A. Coulter and J. H. Tate, as a private bank. The same 
year they erected their bank building, a two-story brick, twenty by ninety- 
three feet in size, located on the northeast corner of the Square. In 1875 
Mr. Coulter withdrew, selling his interest to his partners. In June, 1886, 
Mr. Tate resigned as cashier and removed to Omaha, Nebraska; Alfred H. 
Stark was made acting cashier, serving until 188/, when he was made cashier. 
In 1893 it was incorporated as the Parke Bank, D. W. Stark becoming asso- 
ciated \\ith the new concern, a state bank. A. K. Stark was elected presi- 
dent and A. H. Stark was made cashier. The bank was re-incorporated 
under the banking laws of Indiana in 1902, iJnder the title of Parke State 
Bank. Its officers in November, 1912, were A. K. Stark, chairman; A. H. 
Stark, president; W. J. White, vice-president; G. C. Miller, cashier; H. M. 
Rice, assistant cashier. The statement of the bank September 4, 1912, 
shows resources and liabilities to the amount of $538,277.95. The cash 
capital is $75,000; surplus, $20,000; undivided profits, $12,052.06; deposits, 

The management of this banking house is beyond question among the 
best in the countty. Its stock is owned by some fifty prominent citizens of 
Parke county, seven of whom compose the board of directors, who participate 
in the actual management of the bank's affairs. The board of directors is 
composed of the following representative business men: A. B. Collings, 
capitalist : W. E. Ferguson, of Ferguson Lumber Company ; W. B. Thomp- 
son, of Thompson Co. : A. K. Stark, A. H. Stark, W. J. White and G. C. 
Miller. Their work is all checked by an auditing committee, composed of 
three other stockholders, besides which precaution, the bank is regularly ex- 
amined by the state banking department. This double check of accounts 
makes it doubly safe and secure to its depositors and stockholders. 

At Montezuma there have been two small banking houses, private con- 
cerns, of no great consequence, that went down years ago. Aside from 
those there have never been any banks in Parke county until the present ones 
were formed, and of which the following is a complete list, with particulars 
concerning them and their present standing, officers, etc. ; 


The First National Bank of Montezuma was established in 1904. Its 
present officers are : President, S. P. Hancock ; vice-president, J. E. Johnston ; 
cashier, R. W. Johnston. Its capital is $25,000; deposits, $90,000. 

The Citizens National Bank of Montezuma, established in 1909, has a 


capital of $16,000, and deposits amounting to $95,000. Officers: W. E. Dee, 
president ; C. W. Hughes, vice-president ; S. P. Hancock, cashier. 

Rosedale National Bank, organized in 1908, has a capital of $25,000 
and deposits of $95,000. Officers: Thomas Conley, president; E. R. Bald- 
ridge, vice-president; Clyde Riggs, cashier. 

The Bank of Bloomingdale was organized in 1907, and lias a capital of 
$30,000 and deposits of $240,000. Officers : E. E. Neal, president ; Cyrus E. 
Davis, vice-president ; W. M. Haig, cashier. 

Mecca Bank, established 191 1, has a capital of $25,000; deposits of 
$120,000. Officers: William E. Dee, president; Edward Shirkie, vice- 
president; S. P. Hancock, cashier. 

Citizens Bank of Marshall, established in 1903, has a capital of $20,000; 
deposits amounting to $80,000. Officers : James C. Swaim, president : O. 
"VV. Burford, cashier. 

The organization of the banks at Rockville has been given in full above. 

In all the passing years Parke county has never had but one bank failure, 
that of a small private concern at Montezuma, years ago. The banks of 
Rockville came through the various panics and today are the business and 
financial pride of the entire county. 


The following village plattings have been made in Parke county : 

Armiesburg, platted prior to 1832, on sections 7 and 12, township 15, 
range 8 west. Plat, as executed originally, destroyed by fire of 1832. It is 
situateil in Wabash tow-nship, on the old canal. 

Annapolis, on the northwest quarter of section 12, township 16, range 8 
west, was platted February 4, 1837, by William Maris, Sr., and John 

Bridgeton, on section 22, township 14, range 7 west, b)- James and Mary 
Searing. March 27, 1857. 

Bloomingdale, platted September 30, 1865, on sections 13 and 24, town- 
ship 1 6, range 8 west, by William Pickard, H. B. Little and A. D. Tomlinson. 

Catlin, platted in townships 14 and 15, range 7, in the early sixties. 

Coloma, platted on sections 33 and 34, township 16, range 8, January 27. 
1876, by fifteen persons. 

Diamond, platted on section 34, township 14, range 7, by the Brazil 
Block Coal Company, December 10, 1893, 


Fullerton (Lodi), platted on section 2, township 17, range 9, by Jesse 
Bowen and others, April 13, 1836. 

Guion, platted on section 7, township 16, range 6, bv Robert F, Bruin, 
January 7, 1882. 

Howard, platted February, 1848, by John Gaw, just west of Westport. 

Hudnut, platted on section 14, township 14, range 9 \\est, by Joseph W. 
Morey, April 27, 1880. 

Judson, platted on section 24, township 16, range 7 west. Max 4, 1872, 
by Alexander Buchanan. 

Jessup. platted by John Barnes, February 26, 1887, on section 14. town- 
ship 14, range 8 west. 

Klondyke, platted on section 31, township 16, range 8 west, January 15, 
1907, by William E. Ferguson, Walter S. Ferguson and Mary Ferguson. 

Lyford, platted on the southeast of section 14, township 14, range 9 west, 
May 14, 1892, by William H. Bonner. 

Lena, platted on section 35, township 14, range 6 west, by Robert H. 
King, February 15, 1871. 

Lyford City, platted on sections 14 and 23, township 14, range 9 west, 
by John B. Shaw, August 8, 1892. 

Montezuma, platted on sections 25, 26, 35, 36, township 16, range 9 
\\ est. by Ambrose Whitlock, July 20, 1849. 

Mansfield platted August 4, 1852, by Samuel B. Gookins. 

Marshall, platted on section 9, township 16, range 7 west, by Alfred 
Hobson and Alary Hobson, November 19, 1879. 

Mecca, platted on section 20, township 15, range 8. August 7, 1890, by 
Samuel L. McCune. 

Numa was platted by John \\"ilson, October 10, 1836, on section 25, 
township 14, range 9 west. 

Northampton, platted on sections 7 and 8, township 16. range 6 west, 
December 26, 1851, by William and John Aydelott and Jesse Collings. 

Nyesville, platted on section 34, township 16, range 7 west, by Martin 
Newling, October 18, 1872. 

Parkville, platted in township 16, range 6 west, October 4. r837, by 
Presley Doggett. 

Rockville (original), platted February 28, 1825, on section 7, township 
15, range 7 west, by William P. Bryant and T. A. Howard. 

Rosedale, platted on parts of sections 25, 27 and 34, township 14, range 8. 

Sylvania, platted on section 10, township 17, range 8 west, by David 
-Hadley, September 6, 1839. 


Tangier, platted by William B. Swaine and Edmund Lindley, March 13, 
1886, on section 15, township 17, range 8. 

Westport (now Howard), platted by T. N. Burton and James R. Bur- 
ton, on section 18, township 17, range 8 west, June 20, 1836. 

^\'est Union, platted on section 17, township 16, range 8 west, Fpbruar)' 
18 1837, by John G. Hongham. 

West Atherton, platted on section 36, township 14, range 9 west, by 
Sirena L. Modesett, August 23, 1908. 

\Vaterman (formerly Lodi), on section 8, township 17, range 9 west. 


The population of this county, according to the 1910 United States cen- 
sus reports, was as follows : 

Total population, 22,214; the towns, cities and villages as listed in the 
census compendium was, Annapolis, 200; Bloomingdale, 528; Bridgeton, 219; 
Catlin, 185; Colma, 184; Diamond, 1,070; Guion, 50; Jessup, 75; Judson, 
141; Lena, 225; Lyford, 100; Marshall 334; Mecca, 1,350; Montezuma, 
1,537; Nyesville, 95; Rockville, 1,943; Rosedale, 1,166; Sylvania, 200; Tan- 
gier, 275. 

The total population of the county in 1861 was 15,538; in 1870 it had 
reached 18,166, and in 1880 it was placed by census reports at 19,406. 

From the above it will be observed that of the inhabitants in 1910 there 
were 9,810 living in the towns and villages, while the balance of 12,333 re- 
sided in the country, the total being, in 1910, 22,214. (See Township His- 
tories for present population of each township.) 

The above shows an increase in population of three and four-tenths per 
cent, between 1900 and 1910. The county has 474 square miles and a popu- 
lation to each square mile (average) of 49.7 persons. 

The foreign population includes: Austrians, 176; English, 149; Italians, 
163; Scotch, 103; Welsh, 28. 

The sex are divided, 11,556 males and 10,658 females. 

The per cent, of illiteracy in the county is 5.3 per cent, of the entire popu- 

Those of school age are 6,770; of those attending schools, 4,604, or 88 
per cent. 

The number of dwellings in the county is, 5,349: number of families, 



The late J. H. Beadle is authority that there were in all about three 
thousand "witness trees" blazed by the United States government surveyors 
in this county, as shown by the record of the land office. In 1880 there were 
but a few still standing, the balance either having died from old age or been 
thoughtlessly cut down by the axeman. At that date there was an effort 
made to prevent these trees from being destroyed. 


In the month of November, 1832, the building containing the deeds and 
other valuable public records of Parke county was burned. All deed records 
were burned save those recorded in book "D," which was opened November 
1 2th the year before and was only about half filled. These deeds were all 
recorded with a quill pen in elegant style of penmanship by the recorder, 
Wallace Rea. 


The first legal execution in Parke county was that of Noah Beauchamp, 
on Friday, February 8, 1843, '" the timber southeast of the Rockville ceme- 
tery, by Sheriff Jesse Youmans. People came from far and near to this 
execution, even from Illinois and surrounding counties in this state. It was 
a bitter cold day and several women, with babes on their arms, were present 
and drank whisky freely, with the men, in order to "drive out the cold." 

'The second execution in the county was that of Buck Stout, on August 
8, 1883. by John R. Musser. This was really a case from Montgomery county, 
but was tried in the courts of Parke county. 


The following shows how property was taxed in 1833, in Parke county : 

Poll tax 37/^c 

First-class land, per acre, one hundred acres 80c 

Second-class land, per hundred acres -60c 

Third-class land, per hundred acres 40c 

Each hundred dollars bank or other stock 25c 

Each town or out lot, one-half cent per dollar assessed 


soldier's REUNION. 1875. 

The greatest military gathering in Parke county was in 1875, when a 
reunion was held of the old soldiers. At least fifteen thousand people gath- 
ered at Rock\iIle, and the occasion was graced by the appearance of Gen. 
William T. Sherman, one of the two great heroes of the civil conflict. 


■In 1854 the Tnir Republican, of Rockville, had the following local mar- 
ket quotations in its columns: Flour, $7.00 per barrel; wheat, $1.10; corn, 
48 cents: oats. 40 cents; rye, 45 cents; molasses, per gallon, 25 cents; coffee, 
43 cents ; sugar. 5 cents ; rice, 6 cents ; butter, 28 cents ; bacon. 7 cents ; ham, 
15 cents; eggs. 10 cents; tea. from 60 cents to $1.00; cheese. 10 cents; honey. 
15 cents; chickens, per dozen. $1.50. 

The quotations at Rockville in October. 1865. a decade later, and after 
th close of the Civil war. were as follows: Wheat, $2.00; apples, $1.00; 
Irish potatoes. 40 cents; butter, per pound. 35 cents; eggs, per dozen, i^ 
cents: lard, per pound. 20 cents; bacon. 20 cents; feathers, per pound. 60 

The present year. 1912. papers give the following in their September 
issues, as being the going prices: Corn. 69 cents; wheat, 85 cents; oats. 40 
cents; barley, 53 cents; rye, 70 cents; flax-seed. $1.62; potatoes. $1.13; hay. 
$14.00; butter, 23 cents; eggs. 18 cents; hogs. $7.11; clover seed. $9.80; 
wool, 18 cents; coal oil, 15 cents; gasolipe. 20 cents; nails, 3 cents; calico. 6 
cents; muslin, 10 cents; sugar. 6 cents. 


The news of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, on the 
niglit of April 14, 1865. at Ford's theater, Washington. D. C, bv the shot 
fired by J- W'ilkes Booth, and from which wound he died at 7 :22 the follow- 
ing morning, was received at Rockville just as the citizens were making out a 
program for a great jollification meeting o^'er the news of the previous day 
of the surrender of Confederate General Lee to General Grant, which meant 
the close of the war. The jollification meeting was turned into one of mourn- 
ing, and Governor Oliver P. Morton, who had announced by proclamation 
that April 20th would be observed the state o\-er by the loyal Union citizens 
as a day of jubilee and rejoicing, recalled his proclamation and that day was 


set apart in Indiana as a day of mourning for the fallen magistrate. At 
Rockville no large demonstration was held, but the citizens met at the court 
house the day following the receipt of the sad news and arranged for a public 
meeting on the following Sabbath at the court house, at which Rev. McNutt 
was called to serve as chairman and Samuel Magill, S. F. Maxwell and 
Thomas N. Rice were appointed a committee to retire and draft a set of 
resolutions, which had five sections and which were soon presented and 
passed by the assembly, after which the Doxology was sung and the bene- 
diction pronounced. The hour seemed too sad anfl sacred to make speeches 
and none were made, at length. It was a blow which struck to the \ery 
heart of all, and it was many weeks before the people of Rock\-ille and 
Parke county could rally from the terrible shock of real grief. 

Garfield's death. 

Wednesday, September 21, 1881, memorial services over the death of 
President James A. Garfield were held in Rockville, at the Presbyterian 
church. The business houses were tastily draped and all places closed during 
the exercises that afternoon. Flags were hung at half mast. .\t two o'clock 
the bell tolled its solemn tones, in memoriam of the death of an assassinated 
President, the second in this country. The audience within the church sat in 
quiet and hushed attention. The McCune Cadets marched with draped flags 
and reversed arms from the armoiy and, upon invitation, took seats near the 
stand. The church was appropriately decorated under direction of Capt. 
J. F. Meacham, Dr. Wirt, and Misses Mary McEwen and Maggie Thompson. 
A large portrait of the deceased President, in a shield embellished with the 
flag, crepe and flowers, hung on the wall behind the pulpit. Above this were 
in large, golden letters of beautiful design, the then memorable words, "God 
reigns." Hon. Thomas N. Rice was president of the day and spoke touching- 
ly. Rev. W. P. Cummings offered invocation and Rev. William Y. Allen 
read the Scriptures. Short addresses were made by A F. White, Rev. John 
L. Boyd, Rev. McSmith, Dr. Gillum and J. T. Johnston. At the close, the 
Cadets fired their military salute and marched back to their armory. 

The next Sunday memorial services were held in the Christian church. 

m'kinley's death. 

Again the hand of the assassin laid low another beloved President, Will- 
iam McKinley, who was shot in Buffalo, New York, while attending the 


Pan-American Exposition, and who died September 14, 1901, from the 
wounds inflicted upon him eight days earlier. A befitting tribute was paid to 
the dead President by the city of Rockville. The entire population devoted 
Thursday, September 19th, from two to four in the afternoon, to the honor 
of the beloved magistrate. When the hours for the exercises at the opera 
house arrived the auditorium was filled with truly sorrowing and reverent 
people. The decorations were in keeping with the occasion. A large picture 
of the dead President was quite prominent, being beautifully mounted, and 
underneath was the inscription : "God's will, not ours, be done." The meet- 
ing was called to order by S. D. Puett; invocation by Rev. J. C. Christie; a 
memorial sermon was delivered by Rev. H. N. Ogden; a short address was 
given by Hon. James T. Johnston, who was introduced as a personal friend, 
a comrade in the days of Civil war on the tented field and a colleague of his 
in Congress four years. He naturally spoke with much feeling of the la- 
mented President. Next, Elder O. E. Tomes followed Mr. Johnston with a 
brief tribute, in which he discoursed in a most masterly manner and compared 
Mr. McKinley's assassination with those of the lamented Garfield and Lin- 


The Rockville Tribune, on July 23, 1885, contained this item: "We stop 
our press, after a part of the edition is printed, to publish the following: 
'Western Union Dispatch — New York, July 23. 1885. General Grant died at 
8 :o8 a. m.' " 

Saturday, August 8, 1885. was observed in Parke county, and especially 
in Rockville, as well as generally through the United States, in honor of ex- 
President U. S. Grant. By common consent all business took second place 
in people's minds, in city, town, village and country, all parties and classes 
uniting in public testimonials to the memory of General Grant, as he was best 
known. Rockville had serxices not soon to be forgotten by the younger gen- 
eration. It was stated at the time that perhaps no town of the size in all the 
broad land observed the day so worthily and well as did Rockville. Before 
noon, a large concourse of people was on the streets; the proprieties of the 
occasion (that being the funeral day of Grant in New York City) were well 
preserved. Soon after noon all business was suspended. The Opera House 
Band took its place in the west balcony of the building and played a sweet 
and ]ilaintive air, which music touched the heart of every one in hearing, 
more than all the words spoken on that occasion could possibly have done. 
The Grand Army of the Republic issued from their hall and marched in step 


with the music to the opera house, faced outwardly and gave the order, 
"Salute the dead," then dispersed among the audience. The body of the 
house was completely filled and a portion of the large gallery. Chaplain Rev. 
B. P. Runkle offered prayer, solemn and impressive ; Hon. Alfred F. White, 
chairman, announced the order of exercises; Capt. John H. Lindley read the 
memorial address; Hon. Thomas N. Rice followed with the regular oration. 
It will long rank as among the local classics. He traced thoughtfully and 
tenderly Grant's every step from Cadet Grant and Lieutenant Grant, to the 
great commander over millions of men. Next Capt. Frank M. Howard 
spoke in behalf of the Grand Army of the Republic, emphasizing the "uncon- 
ditional surrender" and "fight it out on this line if it takes all summer" theories 
of Grant, and wound up his remarks by these eloquent words : ' 'But, we 
comrades would love to believe that since the day he died, somewhere on 
the Elysian plains, the boys each night have bivouacs around the old com- 
mander. The G. A. R. salutes the dead comrade and general ! Men shall 
not look upon your like again. Old Soldier, hail and farewell !" 

John H. Beadle spoke of Grant as a citizen. Dr. W. H. Gillum was in- 
vited to represent the Confederate army. He praised Grant for his military 
bearing and tact, and also for his great magnanimity in his final hour of 
victory over the South. He said that in his humane conduct that he had ex- 
celled all other commanders, either North or South. It was not blood and 
revenge Grant worked for, but peace and prosperity, and for these he con- 
tended and finally won over the "Lost Cause" which the speaker fought for 
in the Confederate ranks. 



At Rockville, the county seat of Parke county, is located the Indiana 
State Tuberculosis Hospital, and while it is a state institution, it is deemed 
a proper subject to be placed in the annals of Parke county. From facts ob- 
tained from the late Dr. H. B. Leavitt, the popular, talented and efficient su- 
perintendent, whose death was chronicled this autumntime, and from other 
sources, the following may be relied upon as the history of this institution 
to date of November, 1912 : 

After prolonged efforts on the part of the state health authorities, who 
had repeatedly shown the necessity of a state tuberculosis hospital, the Legis- 
lature of 1905 passed a resolution authorizing the Governor to appoint a 
committee to investigate the need of such an institution, and report their 
findings and conclusions to the next Legislature. The committee was ap- 
pointed and after a proper investigation it made a report to the Legislature 
in 1907, recommending that the state of Indiana needed a tuberculosis hos- 
pital and that two hundred and fifty thousand dollars be appropriated for 
that purpose, but the Legislature only appropriated enough to purchase a site 
and authorized the Governor to appoint a commission to locate and purchase 
a site. The committee was constituted as follows: J. N. Babcock, Topeka; 
Dr. Henry McClure, Indianapolis; Benjamin F. Bennett, Greensburg; Isaac 
R. Strouse, Rockville; W. S. Holman, Aurora. This committee of five in- 
spected twenty sites in this state and hospitals in other states, and finally 
selected and purchased five hundred and four acres, three miles east of Rock- 
land is rich bottom ground, while the rest is rolling high pasture and woods! 
The commission made a report to the Governor and Legislature in 1909 and 
asked for an appropriation of three hundred thousand dollars for the pur- 
pose of erecting a hospital which would accommodate two hundred and sixty 
patients, but the Legislature appropriated only one hundred and thirty thou- 
sand dollars. The commission then proceeded to commence the erection of 
a hospital, first, an administration buildisg, a power house to the rear, which 
furnishes steam heat, water and electric lights to the institution. Next to this 
is a steam laundry, with all modern equipment. On the sides of the adminis- 
tration building are two pavilions, one for men and one for women, connected 


with the administration building by means of two covered corridors. The 
ward buildings contain forty rooms each, with bath rooms, sun parlors, diet 
kitchens and nurses" rooms. The upstairs and downstairs porches run the 
entire length of the building except where the sun parlors run through them 
in the middle. The rooms upstairs are equipped with so-called Indiana con- 
vertible sleepers, a device used in no other state institution in this country. 
Each room is equipped with a bed, dresser and chairs. A corridor at the rear 
of the rooms runs the entire length of the pavilion and connects with the 
glazed corridor to the administration building. The glazed corridors from 
the pavilions to the main buildings have proved indispensable during cold 
winter weather. The administration building contains on the first floor busi- 
ness office, superintendent's office, examining room, operating room, X-ray 
room, staff dining room and board of trustees' room. The second and third 
floors furnish the quarters for the staff and employes. The laboratory, dark 
room and store rooms are located in the basement. In the rear of the admin- 
istration building are the kitchen and patients' dining rooms, and in the 
basement the ice plant and cold storage rooms, bake shop and the employes' 
dining room. 

The commission then made a final report to Governor Marshall and 
turned the hospital and site over to him. The Go\'ernor accepted it on the 
part of the state and issued a proclamation October 31, 1910, and appointed 
Dr. Henry Moore, of Indianapolis, Isaac R. Strouse, of Rockville, and Dr. 
O. V. Schuman, of Columbia City, as trustees to manage the institution. This 
board qualified under the law and held their first meeting December i, 1910. 
The Legislature of 1911 made an appropriation for maintenance of the in- 
stitution for two and one-half years at the rate of nine dollars per week for 
each patient, also made a specific appropriation to stock and equip the farm, 
build a roadway to the hospital and completely equip the wards, administra- 
tion building, power house and laundry. They also made an appropriation 
of five thousand dollars to erect ten houses for fifty patients. After the 
population of the hospital had reached one hundred patients, the trustees ad- 
vertised in various journals and received more than thirty applicants from 
eight different states for the position of superintendent. After due consid- 
eration and examination. Dr. H. B. Leavitt, of Worthington, Indiana, was 
elected as superintendent, and Dr. W. A. Gekler, of the Winyah Sanitarium, 
of Asheville, North Carolina, was selected as head physician of the hospital, 
which was opened for patients April i, 191 1, with one patient, a staff con- 
sisting of superintendent, head physician and matron and the following em- 


ployes : Two trained nurses, an electrician, engineer and fireman, laundry- 
man and assistant, baker, head cook, two waitresses in dining room, dish 
washer and two domestics, a farmer, dairyman, carpenter and teamster. The 
force has been added to from time to time as necessity demanded. 

The operating and treatment room, which has since been more fully 
equipped, serves for the minor surgery and dressings, and various other treat- 
ments, such as nose and throat. The examining room, which is the office of 
the head physician, contains the chart records which are kept for all the 
patients. The chart system at the hospital is really a composite of the best 
systems in use in other public and private institutions of the country, and is 
second to none in the point of completeness and amount of information kept 
on file. 

During the first year of its existence this hospital discharged thirty 
patients as cured ; that is, every sign of acti\-ity in the lungs on physical exam- 
ination had disappeared and the general condition equal to or better than that 
during usual health. This classification of cured patients is somewhat more 
exacting and less fa^■oral3le for statistics than that of many other institutions, 
but is also much more reliable and trustworthy. The hospital has not been 
opened long enough to ascertain the percentage of relapses among these cured 
cases. The number of those in whom the disease has been arrested is about the 
same as those cured. Many of these arrested cases have, bv taking care of 
themselves at home, resulted in cures. The term "arrested case" is applied to 
those who no longer present any of the symptoms of the disease and whose 
general condition is normal, but in whose chests there are still some slight 
signs of activity. Ver\' fe^v patients who have remained in the institution 
more than a week or two have failed to show improvement as manifested in 
subsidence of symptoms and gains in weight and strength. As is to be ex- 
pected, a number of patients have been admitted to the hospital who simply 
refused to stay any length of time and, of course, showed no brilliant results. 
The average gain in weight among those who gain is over ten pounds, while 
the average loss is about three pounds. In addition to the physical benefits 
the patients derive from their stay at the hospital, each one of them gets a 
first-hand object lesson in personal cleanliness and careful and proper dis- 
posal of sputum. They are, by means of pamphlets and lectures, given all 
the information possible concerning the disease so as to be of benefit to those 
about them upon their return home in an educational way. The law govern- 
ing the institution requires that only incipient cases be admitted for treat- 
ment, but it is often hard to draw the line between incipient and moderately 
advanced cases. It has been the policy of the institution to accept all thpse in 


whom a cure or at least decided improvement has seemed to be possible re- 
gardless of the amount of lung involvement. Advanced cases, in which the 
disease is limited to one side only can be treated b}' some means of artificial 
pneumothorax and if not cured, at least decidedly improved, but there are 
many cases which cannot be accepted. 

Isaac Strouse, of Rockville, editor of the Tribune, abo\e named as one 
of the original committee to select a site for this hospital, and who really 
had more to do with the final selection at Rockville than any other member 
of the committee, is now a trustee of the institution and since the death of 
Dr. Leavitt, has had active management of the institution. The people of 
Parke county will owe a debt of gratitude that years cannot repay, for the 
services Mr. Strouse has been able to render them in the matter. Since 
the death of Dr. Leavitt, Mrs. Leavitt has been appointed matron of the in- 
stitution, an appointment worthily bestowed. 



Parke county was organized in 1821. Rockville was laid out in 1824 
and settled as the. county seat permanently that year and received its name 
from the granite bowlders thereabouts. Gen. Arthur Patterson and Judge 
McCall donated twenty acres of land, Aaron Hand twenty and Andrew Ray 
forty acres, on which the public square and present business houses are lo- 
cated, in 1823-4, when a native forest vi'as cut from the town site and Andrew 
Ray built the first house, a log cabin. In 1825 the town had between five and 
six hundred population. 

After Rockville had reached its townhood, the first persons to come in 
were Gen. Arthur Patterson and Judge James B. McCall. They had just 
arrived and fairly got settled as the platting was accomplished. McCall was 
a surveyor of land. These two men erected the first business house, a large 
one-story frame, situated on the southwest corner of the Square, where now 
stands the Presbyterian churcji. Some years later it was raised to a two-story 
structure. General Patterson was a man of polished manners, very energetic 
and strong-willed; he was the life of the town, and its progress was largely 
due to his untiring energies. He was the father of Judge Patterson, of 
Terre Haute. McCall, his partner, was a surveyor and lawyer, but gave no 
attention to either profession while residing in Rockville. He died by his own 
hand, at Vincennes. In 1826 about a dozen families came in, but the town 
grew slowly. In addition to those named, were John Ashpaw, Jeremiah 
Ralston, Wallace Ray, the Lockwoods and Dr. Leonard and Dr. McDonald. 
The number was increased by James and Robert McEwen, who came in 
March and at once put in their tannery, the first in the county, aside from 
that of Caleb Williams, who located in 1821. James Strain, Sr., a tanner by 
trade, came in March, 1824, and went to work with Williams, but in a few 
years bought the machinery of the tannery and moved to Rockville. Both 
finally run down and were little used after 1850. In a couple of years the large 
trade carried on by Patterson and McCall attracted other business men to 
Rockville. Before 1830 Duncan Darroch, John R. Marshall, John Sunder- 
land and Persius Harris were all engaged in merchandising here. Harris 
was a Campbellite minister. Marshall and Darroch were in trade on the 


south side as early as the winter of 1826-7. Sunderland's store was on the 
southwest corner of the Square, on the south side of High street. Andrew 
Foote opened a store soon after and was in trade, for many years. Wallace 
Ray was the first postmaster and was succeeded by jMatthew Noel, who was 
an early justice of the peace. Scott Noel came in 1826 and held many public 
positions, being postmaster many years. Jonas Randall came from Ohio in 
1829 and erected the old Hungerford buildings. James Pyles was an early 
blacksmith. In 1832 he was keeping hotel. In 1827 there were two cabinet 
shops — small afifairs — and there the household furniture such as had to be 
purchased was made and repairing done; also the few cofBns needed were 
made and trimmed in these shops. Not long after 1830 James McCampbell 
and McMurty started in business. These men were merchants and pork- 
packers, and carried on a large trade with New Orleans. The next business 
men were Walter C. Donaldson and Erastus M. Benson, who opened a store. 
Tyler S. Baldwin, who, with Judge Bryant, had been reared among the 
Shakers in Kentucky, was also a prominent business man. George W. Sill 
and James Depew first clerked for Baldwin, but later became his partners. 
Sill arrived here in 1833, and continued in trade for twenty-five years. It is 
related that his "words were softer than oil." In 1836 Jeremiah Ralston was 
conducting a store in Rockville. Adamson & Robinson and Levi Sidwell all 
settled about 1836. The last named, in company with Mr. Rosebraugh, 
opened the first drug store, Robert Allen & McMurty being in trade about 
this date also. The firm of A. M. Houston & Company was composed of 
General Alexander, M. Houston, William P. Mulhallen and Pembroke S. 
Cornelius. Houston's partners were all young men, but he was a noted char- 
acter in Rockville and community. He had been a general in the militia 
and served under Jackson in one of the Indian campaigns. He was a South- 
ern gentleman, who had not altogether escaped Southern ways and vices. In 
his early days he had been a gambler, and had made and retained a good for- 
tune, and lived in elegance and ease. Later in life he was converted to the 
Christian faith and united with the Presbyterian church, in which he was ever 
afterward an active member. 

The first millinery store in Rockville was established by Mrs. Lucinda 
Bradley, about 1837: her husband was a carpenter. Mrs. Lucy Smith and 
Mrs. Watson each had shops a little later. Another pioneer was Gabriel 
Houghman, who came in from Butler county, Ohio, in 1830, settling a half 
mile south of town, but in 1837 moved to the town and engaged in mer- 
chandising in the firm of Allen, Noel & Company : he soon bought Allen out. 
For twelve ye:\v< he lield ])iili'ic offices, first as deputy sheriff, then county 


assessor, sheriff three years, and in 1850 was elected to the Legislature. At 
that date he bought the Rockville House, on the northeast corner of the 
Square, where later the Rice block was erected. 

In 1841 J. M. Nichols settled in Rockville and embarked in the tinning 
business, his being the second establishment of the kind in town, the first tin 
shop being that of Diocletian Cox, who had left before Mr. Nichols went into 
business. At a little later period came he who was later known as Gen. 
George K. Steele. He did a large business and was prominent as banker, 
politician and railroad promoter. Among the most universally admired and 
excellent business men that early Rockville ever had was Isaac Jarvis Silli- 
man, a New Englander, who also was in the milling business, an account of 
which is given elsewhere in this work. 

Just at the close of the Civil war, a woolen factory was put in operation 
by Sill & McEwen. at least they started it, when one of the firm died, after 
which Nichols & Thompson completed it and operated it until about 1875, 
when it ceased to longer pay interest on the investment. The machinery was 
mostly sold and the factory abandoned. The factory was a three-story build- 
ing, forty b}' eighty feet in size. The property cost twenty-eight thousand 

In 1829, Samuel X. Baker, from Kentucky, settled on the Leatherwood 
and started a pottery, in which he made red-ware till 1833, then removed to 
Rockville and built another pottery, which he operated until his death in 
i860. It was continued by his sons, James H., Samuel and Charles, till 1873, 
when the last mentioned started one in the northeast part of Rockville, where 
for several years he turned out twenty-four kilns of ware each year, averag- 
ing upwards of forty thousand gallons of earthenware. In 1880 the old one 
was producing about twenty-four thousand gallons per year. Stoneware, 
such as crocks, jugs, \ases and flower pots, were there made in large quan- 

The town has always been noted for its excellent saw-mills and, while 
the forests are fast disajjpearing from Indiana, there are still many fine trees 
being annually converted into lumber at the mills in Rockville. The business 
interests in Rockvillle, a third of a century ago, included these : Four gen- 
eral stores, one clothing house, three groceries, two boot and shoe stores, one 
harness shop, one provision store, three furniture stores, and undertakers 
shops, two jewelry stores, three agricultural and hardware stores, three grain 
warehouses, two newspapers, two carriage and two wagon shops, two black- 
smith shops, two .saw and planing mills, two hotels, two boarding houses, three 
millinery stores, two hanks, one photograph gallery, four shoemakers, one 



repair and machine shop, three saloons, two Hvery stables, two brick yards, 
one tile factory, two potteries, and several loan and insurance agencies. 


From the pen of J. H. Beadle, who wrote on Rockville in 1880, we take 
the liberty to quote the following concerning early conflagrations in the town 
of Rockville: 

"Rockville has been terribly scourged by fire. It had not suffered more 
than an average percentage of loss from this cause until 1871, when three 
conflagrations in that year burned out three sides of the public square. The 
first occurred on the night of July 4th, on the south side. The buildings were 
all wooden and, with the exception of the one on the southeast corner, rook- 
eries ; but to some the loss was not less severe on this account, though the 
aggregate was inconsiderable, when compared with the later fires, especially 
the one on the north side. This last took place on the night of September 
17th. Starting in the old hotel on the northeast corner, it swept everything 
clean to the National Bank. Here was concentrated a greater part of the 
business and of course here was the greatest loss. Several of the best brick 
buildings in the town were in this row. The estimated loss, after the insur- 
ance was paid, was about sixty thousand dollars. The east side was con- 
sumed on the night of December 8th, seven brick front rooms being destroyed, 
besides less valuable property. The old hotel on the west side, where the new 
one is now building, was burned at another time. The south side fire was 
thought to have been accidentally caused by a crowd of drunken men ; but 
the others were supposed to have been incendiary'. 

"The tov.n has never had an adequate fire apparatus. It has a small engine 
which is more effective in relaxing vigilance and promoting fancied security 
than otherwise. So far as the appearance of the town is concerned, these fires 
have been an advantage ; they made room for large, tasteful edifices which 
now cover the ground." 

The last great fire was that of the night of November 16, 1906, when 
the National Bank block burned, causing a loss of thirty thousand dollars. 
The Terre Haute and Bloomingdale fire companies came to the rescue, but 
too late to save the property. This building had the old National Hall on one 
of its floors and was a fine auditorium. Dr. Goss lost his modern physician 
and surgeon's office in this block and he lost expensive apparatus, with little 
insurance on same. The city now has a better protection against fires than it 
has ever before had. 


The old opera house in Rockville was dedicated June 9, 1883, by John 
E. Owens. It was built by the Rockville Opera House Company, at a cost 
of thirty-five thousand dollars, and seated eight hundred people. 

In the autumn of 19 12 the new and strictly modern opera house was 
opened to the play -loving public. It was built by a stock company at a cost 
of twenty thousand dollars and easily seats eight hundred presons. The 
architect was W. H. Floyd, Terre Haute; builder, Edgar Jerome, Rockville. 
The stockholders are F. H. Nichols, president; Frank M. Adams, vice-presi- 
dent; Allen T. Brockway, treasurer; George L. Laney, secretary; Howard 
Maxwell, John S. McFadden, Sidwell Alden, S. F. Max Puett, J. M. Johns 
and D. M. Carlisle. The committee on building was Howard Maxwell, D. M. 
Carlisle and J. M. Johns. 


For thirty years Rockville was an unincorporated place, but in July, 
1854, voted to incorporate, and the first election of officers resulted as follows : 
Board, Harvey L. Hoss, D. W. Stary, E. S. Terry, Isaac J. Silliman, James 
H. Sanderson; clerk, F. W. Dinwiddle. 

The records are not in suitable condition to give lists complete. The 
1912 officers are; Board, H. E. Marks, president; William F. Graham, Will- 
iam B. Thompson, E. J. Coleman, B. J. Hunnicutt ; clerk, William T. Patton ; 
treasurer, F. H. Nichols; marshal, Joseph Boardman. 


The postoffice at Rockville is a third-class office. The present postmas- 
ter, J. H. Spencer, was commissioned March i, 1906, and succeeded I. L. 
Wimmer, who had served one term, while the present incumbent is now 
serving on his second temi. During his administration the office has handled 
over twelve hundred pieces of registered mail matter and not a single loss in 
the entire time. There are now seven rural free deliveries going out from 
this office. The last two years, ending March 30, 1912, the business of this 
office has been in excess of seven thousand dollars each year. Two assistants 
and the postmaster do the work of the office. The postal savings department 
of the Rockville office was instituted November 2, 1911, and has not thus 
far proved to be a large depository, but is increasing some. While its safety 
is acknowledged, the low rate of interest pre\-ents many from depositing. 



After several years of discussion, and with some opposition, an election 
was called to determine whether Rockville should be supplied with a system 
of water works that would make her on an equal footing with other towns. 
Finally, on May i, 1893, such an election was held and the result was that 
there were found two hundred and eighty-three voting for the measure as 
against one hundred and fourteen opposition votes. September 5, 1894, a 
contract was let to sink, within the town limits, a six-inch well of the tubular 
type. In all, three such wells were sunk, but a sufficient flow of water was not 
found and the plan was abandoned and one was put down in the Little Rac- 
coon bottoms, on the farm belonging to S. C. Puett, where a heavy flow of 
pure water was obtained at the depth of twenty-five feet. July 31, 1895, the 
town board advertised for plans and specifications to erect water works, and 
on September 12, 1895, nine bids were opened for the construction of the 
plant. None of these bids was accepted, however. Public opinion was un- 
settled. The next move was to construct water works and light plant, com- 
bined, and this plan was carried into effect in August, 1903. There had been 
an electric lighting plant owned by private capital in Rockville for several 
years and this the town of Roclc\'ille purchased and combined the water 
works and electric light plant in one, since which both have given good and 
profitable service to the citizens and taxpayers. The}- now have forty-nine 
hydrants, situated at \arious points in the town; a high stand-pipe and tower 
which throws water to a good height by direct pressure of the pumps. Im- 
provements at the plant and about the town are being made the present year. 

A volunteer fire company is organized and with the water works system, 
aided by a chemical engine and hook and ladder appliance, the present fire 
chief, L. W. Brown, is enabled to do good service at fires. The water supply, 
at present, is derived from deep wells on the Raccoon bottoms, two and a half 
miles east from the town. There is also a well at the plant in town, which 
can be relied upon in case of fires. The water at the big well, east of town, 
is affording an abundance of the purest water. 


The cemetery at Rockville has been in use since 1824. Up to 1883 there 
had been buried within this sacred enclosure over two thousand persons. The 
land consisted of a six-acre tract. The first to be buried there was a child of 
Pioneer Hann ; she was buried on her father's own land, a part of his estate. 


and of which he soon gave the public an acre, including the spot where the 
dear one was interred, thus making a start towards the present cemetery. 
The grounds are just to the southeast of the city proper. Up to 1826 there 
had been only five burials there, in the two years of use. No record is found 
back of 1839. John Alexander commenced his duties as sexton of this ceme- 
tery in 1843 and up to 1883 nine hundred graves had been dug by him. There 
the strong man and the frail woman, the infant and the aged, had been put 
beneath the sod. Civilian and soldier had there been buried, including many 
of the Civil war soldiers, and one continental soldier — Jesse Duncan— who 
fought at Guilford Court House, whose remains lay on the east end of lot 
No. 147. iVIany beautiful family monuments and memorial piles now grace 
this cemetery, which is kept in fine condition. With the return of each spring 
time, and Memorial Day, the graves are visited and the green carpeting 
moistened by the tear-drops of the friends of those who lie there, sleeping their 
last sleep. Of recent years many improvements have been made on these lots 
and today the passerby recognizes a Christian community, for no other so 
carefully watches the resting places of their departed dead. 

There have been at least three additions made to this "Silent City," but 
in all only about eleven acres are platted, and but about eight of this has been 
occupied with graves. 


Milling is one of the earliest industries in almost any community, and 
here in Rockville the flouring mill industry was first established in 1853-4, by 
a New Englander named Isaac Jarvis Silliman, who was a pioneer miller at 
Bridgton and Armiesburg, where he was a partner of General Patterson, both 
in milling, merchandising and distilling. About the date last mentioned, he 
came to Rockville and entered into a partnership with O. J. Innis and J. M. 
Nichols. In a few years Innis retired, and Silliman and Nichols purchased 
the mill. Early in i860, William M. Thompson and James H. McEwen 
bought Silliman's interest in both mill and store property. A few years later 
Silliman died, greatly regretted by the community, at the age of seventy or 
more. In 1864 the mill was sold to Eiglehart and Brothers, of Evansville, 
and finall}' went into the hands of the national bank here, and it was burned 
in 1884. After this the citizens were greatly in need of such an industry as a 
good flouring mill, and then commenced the remarkable history and career, 
in Rockville, of the Rohm family, three generations of which have been con- 
nected with flour-making in this section of Indiana. In April, 1893, E. H., 


Calvin and George W. Rohm, sons of Jacob Rohm, who had commenced mill- 
ing at the age of ten years for his father, began the construction of a modern 
flour mill at Rockville, on the site of the old woolen factory, where plenty 
of good water and other conveniences were at hand, — the site of the present 
roller mills, — and made their first flour on New^ Year"s day, 1894. It is a 
brick structure, with metal roof, and is grouped with the power house, ware- 
house and roomy office. As far back as 1896 this mill employed eight men. 
It is still running at full capacity and is known far and near for its superior 
grades of flour. 

The only other important industries in Rockville are its two quite ex- 
tensive lumber mills and wood-working machinery, the one being the exten- 
sive works of the Ferguson Lumber Company, the other, Graham & Com- 
pany, both of which firms do a large hard-lumber milling business. 

It may be added that the town no\v has five garages in successful opera- 
tion, and that many automobiles are sold and used in Parke county. 


According to the 1870 United States census, Adams township had sev- 
enty-four colored population, of which fifty-five resided in the town of Rock- 
ville. The year after the Civil war closed — 1866 — there was only one colored 
person in the town, Alexander Harper, a hatter by trade; he died and his 
family went away. Patrick Thomas arrived that year and was soon followed 
by Alexander Black. In 1870 Abram Gaston brought his family to Rock- 
ville from North Carolina; he accompanied Samuel Kirkman, who had been 
back on a visit ; this was the first family from that state. In the colony that 
emigrated from that state in 1872 were Joseph Kirkman, Jesse Kirkman, 
Anthony Brower, Jesse Craven and Ransom Coble. By 1880 colored people 
had come in from the Carolinas, Virginia and Tennessee till they numbered 
fully two hundred, many of whom became excellent citizens and not a few 
became well-to-do persons, who seemed to prize their liberty and rights, and 
they and their children have kept up this record of good citizenship until this 
time. They support a Methodist and a Baptist church and a public school. 



Adams township, in which the seat of justice is located, has, in common 
with others of Parke county, no pubHc record showing the facts connected 
with its organization and settlement, owing to the fact that the records made 
by the early county officials were all burned in the fire of November, 1833. 
Except for the first actual settler, there is abundant proof about who the first 
settlers were. It was contended at the date of the old history, by Walker 
Adams, that his father, James Adams, made a settlement in 1816, on the 
Little Raccoon in what is now known as Adams township. He further con- 
tended that the township derived its name from his father, all of which looks 
plausible, though possibly he has fixed the date of coming a little too early. 
However that may be, it is usually granted that Adams was first to locate in 
this township, and that it was before 1818. There is no account of any others 
coming in prior to 1821, to make permanent homes for themselves. In 181 7 
a colony of several families emigrated from Butler county, Ohio, and settled 
on the Big Raccoon, in what came to be known as the Bell Settlement, near 
Bridgton. Among those were Abel Bell, Tobias Miller, Solomon Simmons, 
the Adams and Webster families. Isaac McCoy, the celebrated Indian mis- 
sionary, had his home in the same region. A few years later Aaron Hand, 
also from Ohio, joined this colony. In the spring of 1821 Solomon Simmons 
moved and located, a mile southwest of Rockville. In the autumn of the 
same year Aaron Hand came up from the Bell settlement and located on the 
present site of Rockville. Greenberry Ward and his father, James Ward, 
made a tour of exploration and in their tra\els found Cornelius Sunderland, 
living on what in later years was known as the Beadle farm. In 1822 came 
James McGinnis, settling a mile and a half south of Rockville. Cornelius 
Sunderland arrived the same year. Andrew Ray came to Rockville that 
year, early in the spring, but was here the autumn before and located his 
lands. At that date land hunters were numerous and there was much rivalry 
to see who should obtain choice bottom tracts of bottom lands. A party con- 
sisting of James Glass, John Miller, Jacob Miller and Thomas Wolverton, 
who were much disheartened at not being able to secure such lands as above 
mentioned, were on their way to Montgomery county to search for a better 


choice of lands, when they were happily directed by a Kentuckian to the "di- 
vide between the two Raccoons." Upon examination, the country pleased 
them and they decided to locate there, and were joined by Tobias Miller, 
Reuben Webster, Lawrence Cox and a few more. So general was the sat- 
isfaction at finding their desires, that James Kelsey named the settlement 
"New Discovery," and it is still spoken of as such, and churches and schools 
have been named for it. A wonderful rush soon pushed forward for this 
portion of the county. The land office was soon moved from Terre Haute to 
Crawfordsville, and the route was dotted all the way with newcomers' places, 
and smoke from many cabins greeted the eye. For the choice of land men 
took great chances at swimming streams and they rode day and night, through 
drenching rains and other fierce storms, often exhausting and sometimes kill- 
ing the horses which bore them. Next was heard the sound of the settler's 
axe and saw, in clearing up the forest and making farms. The crashing of 
falling beech, walnut and sugar trees might have been heard on every hand, 
preparatory to the log-heap and crackling fires. 

The spring and summer of 1822 were exceedingly wet, and the new- 
comers W'Cre sad and disheartened with water all around them, and mud, mud, 
mud at their feet. They hauled their grain from Fort Harrison, but found 
other supplies at Roseville. Toward the close of the summer the rain clouds- 
passed by and sunny weather was present to greet them. Here might have 
been seen men and women with children at their knees, far distant from their 
former homes and out of reach of every civilized comfort, spreading their 
beds and boards in a trackless wilderness, infested with venomous reptiles 
and wild beasts, voluntarily seeking rough toil, accepting course food, and 
facing all but famine, yet yielding to nothing but protracted and blighting dis- 
ease and sometimes death. Their experiences form a story of trials, priva- 
tions and sufferings, and a picture of heroism and triumph, which can never 
be accurately depicted by the pen. 

The Rockville Tribttne at one time published the following incident that 
may throw some light upon this state of affairs : 

"Nancy, wife of Cornelius Sunderland, had been to her father, Nathan- 
iel Page's one afternoon late in the autumn of 1821 or '22, to borrow a reel. 
The houses were not more than half a mile apart and as she was returning 
she strolled along, gathering nuts, buried in the leaves on the ground, failing 
to note the direction, and strangely oblivious of ever\'thing around her, until 
her attention was arrested by a sudden darkening of the sky and falling of 
snow flakes. On looking up she discovered that she had missed her way, 
but, correcting her course, pressed forward with all haste, in the supposed 


direction of her home. She had not proceeded far before she was filled with 
alarm at finding herself in a dense forest, and totally ignorant of her where- 
abouts. The snow was falling fast. The deep gloom and grand silence of 
the woods added to her painful feelings and situation and her fears grew 
almost frantic, when she noticed the dog that had accompanied her had dis- 
appeared. She searched wildly about for the path, shouting every few steps, 
and then pausing for an answer, but hearing no sound but the beating of her 
own heart. On and on she Avandered without a glimpse of a single object 
she knew to relieve her terrified thoughts. Night came on and still she 
groped about. The boughs were now bending beneath the weight of falling 
snow. At length, finding that her traveling and calling were only a vain 
waste of strength, and wet, cold, faint and o\'er\vhelmed with despair, she took 
shelter in a hollow tree, where she passed the night. As soon as daylight 
came she renewed her fruitless endeavor to find a habitation or to attract at- 
tention by her cries. As hour by hour went by she continued her wanderings 
till late in the afternoon, when her strength was gone and, benumbed with 
cold, she sat down to await help or die. 

"When evening came it was known that she was lost. Her husband, 
greatly distressed, spread the alarm and the settlers north of the Big Rac- 
coon turned out in a general search. By the middle of the next day all the 
Avest part of the county was aroused and had joined the relief party. About 
sunset John Sunderland, while hunting along the bluffs of Raccoon, heard a 
faint cry, so faint that he could not ascertain the direction, till several times 
repeated in answer to his shout. Following the sound, he came upon a human 
being leaning against a tree, whom he confidently believed to be a scjuaw. He 
supposed she had been abandoned or lost by her tribe, nor was it till he drew 
near and actually touched her, that he recognized his sister-in-law! Thirty 
hours of toil and suffering had completely transformed her; her dress was in 
rags, her voice was almost gone, and she was so chilled that she could not 
climb upon a log, and he had to lift her to a horse and then hold her as he 
would a child. But the constitution of a pioneer woman soon brought health 
and she survived to a good age, to be the mother of a large family of vigorous 
sons and handsome daughters. And it is recorded that, womanlike, slie had 
held onto the borrowed reel, through all her wanderings." 

Other early settlers outside of Rockville, not already named, w ere : Jos- 
eph Wilkinson, who came from Warren county, Ohio, in 1825, and located 
in New Discovery; James Ward and son Greenberry, in 1826; Nathaniel 
Page, about the same time. By about 1830 nearly all the land, at least all of 
the choice tracts, had been taken up, and settlements were evenly distributed. 


It is related that it was then uncommon to find a stretch of country where 
there was not a house at least within two miles of another. The Indians had 
nearly all departed. From 1825 to 1831 there were numerous parts of tribes 
of the Delawares and Pottawatomies left behind the main tribes of these 
Indians. The settlement at Rockville is mentioned in the town or city his- 
tory of that place, hence is omitted here. Aside from the interests at Rock- 
ville, the township is an agricultural section, now highly developed and full 
of beautiful farm homes and a happy, intelligent and prosperous people. A 
table elsewhere gives the population of this and every other township within 
Parke county. The Educational chapter treats of the early and present 
schools, while the chapter devoted to churches gives much concerning the 
various branches of religious work in Adams township. The wagon roads 
leading into Rockville are numerous and all well graveled at this date, and 
the number of carriages and automobiles owned by the farmers is indeed 
wonderful, while the rural free deliverv of mail and the parcel post make a 
net-work of the township. These all present a great contrast to the days of 
1822, when the first stakes were stuck by the hands of a few pioneers. The 
valuation of property, real and personal, in Adams township in 1912 is 
$1,250,500, outside the city of Rockville. Includmg the city, the valuation, 
as per recent assessed list, is $2,500,000. The 19 10 United States census 
gave Adams township (outside town of Rockville) a population of 1,417. 



Florida is the extreme southwestern civil sub-division of Parke county. 
It is bounded on the west by the Wabash river ; on the north by Wabash and 
Adams township ; on the east by Raccoon township and on the south by Vigo 
county, Indiana. The old canal runs through its western borders. Its towns 
and hamlets are Coxville, Rosedale, Jessup, Lyford, Hudnut, Numa, and 
numerous postoffices, some established many years since, but abolished upon 
the introduction of the modern rural route system. Its area covers about 
forty-eight square miles. Its population in 1880 was 1,944, while at present 
(1912) it contains about 3;i70 people. In 1880 its assessed valuation was 
$689,364, in real estate and personal amounting to $175,662, as against a 
total in 1912 of $1,324,155. Its territory is watered by Little and Big Rac- 
coon rivers. Along these streams, which are really large creeks, and along 
the Wabash river are the bottoms, stretching more than a mile in rich level 
lands, and where some of the finest crops of wheat and corn are produced 
annually. Back of these valleys are the bluffs showing their rocky heads, but 
soon wear down to a level country again. These flats formed by the raising 
of the bluffs are almost level, and at some remote period, possibly formed an 
island. East of Rosedale, the country forms a, flat sandy section, resembling 
the prairies of Illinois somewhat. The north part of Florida township is 
very rough and broken, but most of its land has been utilized bv energetic 
farmers and stockmen. 

The township was named, according to Jesse R. Youmans, at its or- 
ganization in the fall of 1821, from David Loree, a pioneer who had emi- 
grated from such a named township in New York state. The first settlers 
in this township are to be classed among the first pioneers within Parke 
county. Among such sturdy, self-sacrificing characters may be recalled John 
M. Doty, whose axe was among the very first to be heard ringing through 
the forests of the county. He settled east of Rosedale, where he remained 
till overtaken by death. Another was Heniy. a family well known in Parke 
county, tlirough their descendants, to this day. It is claimed that this family 
settled east of Rosedale about 1816, and the place where they first set stakes. 


almost a century ago, is still kno\Mi as Henry's Prairie. Mr. Henry had four 
sons, John, William, Moses and Isaac. William died in Florida township in 
1848; Moses was killed while en route to New Orleans with a flat-boat loaded 
with pork. The forks of the creek were settled by John Adams and James 
and Moses Barnes, from Kentucky. William Evans came to Florida town- 
ship about 1820. One of the first settlers in Parke county was Joseph Wal- 
ker, who came in 1816, locating on the bluff in the southwestern part of this 
township. This was ever afterwards styled Walker's Bluff. He first pre- 
empted a quarter section, \\here lie built a log cabin, sixteen In- eighteen feet, 
and there set out the first orchard ever planted in the township. He also 
built the first brick house in the town. A Mr. Kispert later owned and occu- 
pied this place. In 1819 Chauncey Rose settled in the township, which also 
was the date of the building of the Raccoon Mills on the stream where Rose- 
ville was afterward built. Rose came to the country a poor man, and when 
he bought his land bought it simply for farming purposes, little dreaming 
that he was to sell corner lots from the tract he had selected. Other early 
settlers were Messrs. Robbins and Brooks, who were early factors at Rose- 
ville and carried on merchandising at that point many years. In 1820 Will- 
iam Smith built his log cabin three-quarters of a mile to the south of Rose- 
dale, on Henry's Prairie, and lived there until 1835, when he erected a 
double-log cabin where Rosedale was later situated. He who was usually 
styled "Major," really James Smith, came in 1820, and has always been 
recognized as the first settlers on the bluff north of Jude Walker's. He finished 
a cabin eighteen by twenty feet, and became the owner of nearly a section of 
land. It was there that David D. Loree made his home in the spring of 1820. 
He came from New York, from which state he started on a flat boat, accom- 
panied by his brother's wife and her daughter, Minerva (later Mrs. Brown). 
Capt. Daniel Stringham, a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and Jonathan 
Rockwell settled on what was known as Yankee street at about the same 
date. Other early settlers were John and Sylvester Sibley, Zebina Hovey, the 
celebrated pioneer carpenter of this county, 3.r\^ Hector Smith. An early 
blacksmith was Mr. Drure, in 1823 on Walker's land. ^Most of the follow- 
ing men were in Florida prior to 1830: Joseph Cahill, David Hix, Samuel 
House, John Crabb, Seba H. Case, Peter Pence, Z. Fenton, Abraham Laney, 
the Rukes, John Steward, the Boatmans, Benjamin Dailey, George Baugh, 
James Laney, the Kilburns, John Cottrell, James Burson, Cephas Fisher. 

The township is now well developed and made up of wealthy and fair- 
circumstanced farmers. Some of the old settlers have sons and daughters 


still residents of the township where their forefathers first settled, while a 
majority of the people are of a later generation who came from other sec- 
tions of this and other counties. The schools and churches are all mentioned 
in the general chapters of this work, hence are not further noted in this con- 
nection. It may be stated in passing, that the pioneer Giauncey Rose ven,^ 
greatly resembled Daniel Webster. He was a man of character, enterprise 
and great public promoter of good in Parke county. 


Florida has several small towns and hamlets, including the following: 
Roseville, the first village in the county, received its name from Chauncey 
Rose, its finst settler, who entered the land upon which it stands in 1819, and 
soon commenced the building of a grist mill on the banks of Raccoon creek, 
which was for manjr years known far and near as the Raccoon Mills. A saw- 
mill was soon completed a short distance above the flouring mill. He also 
erected a cabin or two, for himself and those who worked for him, these 
being the first erected in the village. The inill soon grew to be one of great 
promise and drew customers from a radius of more than twenty-five miles. 
After many years the mill did not longer produce sufficient flour for the in- 
creasing demand, when another was constructed, being later owned and 
operated by Daniel Kiblar. The first store was run by Moses Robbins, which 
was opened about the same date as the mill. .\t first the Indians were the 
best patrons, and Mr. Robbins was by them called "Old Mohawk." They 
brought him large quantitie,-^ of furs, for which he exchanged to them cofifee, 
tobacco, "mad water," etc. "Uncle Moses" kept in stock everything that was 
called for by both wdiite and red men, and for many years drove a successful 
trade and barter, but finally died a poor man. Judge Wedding conducted the 
second store in the village and operated it successfully till lie removed to 
Terre Haute. In 1820 a tan-yard was established at Roseville, a quarter of a 
mile to the southeast of the mills. After two years it proved a failure and 
was abandoned. A distillery wa.s also thought necessar}- and t)ne was built 
at the foot of the bluff, and there man}- a barrel of \\hisky was made and sold 
at twent)'-five cents per gallon, and shipped to New Orleans on rude flat-boats. 
Another was situated a half mile south of the first one and was known as the 
McCamic still-house. In 1825 Robbins and Wedding were extensively en- 
gaged in pork packing and shipping lo New Orleans. The first doctor was 
Dr. McDonald. In this village the first session of court was held in Parke 
county. The first grand jury sat here, and here the first indictment was 


found, while the first case was tried in the court which was in session, the 
same being a criminal case. John Grim, for stealing some furs from the 
Indians, was sentenced to the penitentiarj' for one year. Between 1825 and 
1835 Roseville was indeed a lively place. It soon began to decline, however, 
when Rockville opened up and, in addition to the county business, also drew 
trade which had formerly gone to Roseville. 

Numa, situated on section 26, range 9, was first settled by John Wilson, 
he having entered the land and laid out a part of his farm into town lots in 
1837. These lots were advertised in 1838, and a number sold at prices rang- 
ing from twelve to fifteen dollars. Nearly eveiy person in the neighborhood 
purchased one of these town lots. Mr. Wilson erected the first frame house 
in the village, it bsing designed as a hotel. The stage which carried passen- 
gers along this road from Terre Haute to Lafayette stopped here to change 
horses and eat their meals. The hotel had a sign reading, "Entertainment for 
Man and Beast," and as it did not pay, Mr. Wilson tore it down and opened a 
general store. In 1840 Mr. Gleason erected a large frame building in the 
southern part of town, which was used both for hotel and store purposes. 
Gleason sold to Silas Bowers, after which it became a noted place. During 
the building of the canal quite a business was carried on at this point, but 
when that highway was finished the interest in the town was forever gone. 

Clinton Lock received its name from the fact that the locks of the 
A\'abash & Erie canal were situated at this place, and also from its location 
immediately across the river from the city of Clinton. In June, 1880. it 
was named Lyford. It is in section 14, range 9, and is a station now on the 
Chicago & Eastern Illinois railroad. John Crabb entered the land on which 
the village is situated, and in 1833 sold to his son, \y. G. Crabb. He built a 
large warehouse there in 1850; it was on the bank of the canal and was forty 
by eighty feet, two stories high. After the days of the canal it was no longer 
needed for grain, and in 1862 it was sold to Youman & Smith. A. & J. M. 
Lyons put in a stock of merchandise in 185 1, amounting to seven thousand 
dollars. At the closing of the canal in 1865, everything in the town seemed 
to instantly decline and went to decay. It remained defunct until the autumn 
of 1873, when a switch from the Evansville & Terre Haute railroad was put 
in and run to the mines and warehouse of Asa Fitch, who put in fifty men 
and shipped fifteen cars of coal per day. A year later another mine was 
opened half a mile to the north. In 1875 the railroad purchased these 
switches and recognized Clinton Locks as a station point on their line. That 
year the store was opened and in 1877 ^ store was conducted by Lake & Com- 
pany. In 1879 the old warehouse was purchased by Hudmut & Company, 


who carried on a large business. It was in 1879 that the great stave factory 
was established at this point by Jesse Clutter, who there made about seventeen 
thousand staves each twenty-four hours. Later a cooper shop was added and 
thus the staves made up into casks and barrels. West of the village the first 
ferry was run from Florida to Clinton. It was owned by David Patton, and 
consisted of a simple flat-boat pushed across the Wabash by means of poles, 
the fare being thirty-seven and one-half cents per team. 

Rosedale received its name from pioneer Chauncey Rose, of Terre Haute. 
The coming of the Terre Haute & Logansport railroad was the commence- 
ment of this village so well known now. It is situated in the southeastern 
portion of Florida township, and was platted by Ephraim Doty. The first 
house there, built by William Smith in 1835, was a larg^ hewed log house 
twenty by forty feet. The whole community assisted in raising it, occupy- 
ing two full days. It still stood in 1890, the property of Jerry Beal. Nothing 
of importance happened at this point until i860, when the railroad was fin- 
ished and a store was built ; also a warehouse and mill, a drug store and school 
house. Frank Bell was the first postmaster, receiving" his commission from 
President Lincoln in January, 1862. The village had a population of one hun- 
dred in 1880, but of recent years it has improved greatly and the census of 
1912 gives it a population of 1,166. All branches of small town business are 
here represented by enterprising men. 

Jessup, another hamlet of this township, is situated in the northeastern 
part of the township, and derived its name from Mr. Jessup, an old resident 
of the community, and who at the completion of the "pumpkin vine railroad'" 
moved near where the village now stands. Pleasant Hawkins and Monroe 
Barnes, of Terre Haute, who shipped a barrel of pork addressed to ''Jessup," 
really originated the name. The road was just finished and the conductor 
and train crew searched the list of towns, when they finally decided to put 
the goods off for Jessup at that point, and they were making a point in his- 
tory of which they then knew not! The place is not of great importance, 
yet, as a trading place, has been a good thing for the people of that section. 
It now has about seventy-five population. 

West Atherton is located in the extreme southwest corner of the town- 
ship, and is a small station point on the branch of the Chicago & Eastern Illi- 
nois railroad. 

Another town in this township is Coxville, a thriving hamlet of more 
modern t)'pe than many already named. 



Greene township is congressional township No. i6 north, of range 6 west, 
and is situated on the east side of Parke county, with Putnam county on its 
east. Union township to the south, ^^^ashington to the west and Howard 
township and Montgomery county on its north. The north and south 
branches of the Little Raccoon flow through its domain. Big Raccoon cuts 
off a small comer of this township on section 36, where Portland Mills is 

The surface is varied. Along the banks of its streams it is much broken, 
rising in places to considerable hills and bluff land. The northeast quarter 
and south half are level and well adapted to agriculture. The soil is exceed- 
ingly fertile. Limestone abounds on the west side of the north branch, and 
there are numerous outcroppings of coal, with indications of some iron. On 
the east side of this branch sandstone of three kinds, red, yellow and gray, is 
found in considerable quantities. It is well suited for building purposes. 
Fire rock, used for chimney and fire-place backs, is also found in this town- 
ship. The township was originally one dense forest, embracing many varie- 
ties of excellent timber. In the more swampy parts tlie underbrush was so 
thick, together with pea-vine and nettles, that a road had to be blazed, that 
children might find their way to and from school at an early day. In 1880 
two-thirds of the township was under a fine state of cultivation. Much im- 
pro\ ement has been done there in the passing of the last three decades. What 
is or was known as the Lindon thicket, or swamp, and considered b}' the pio- 
neers as worthless land, is now the most valuable in all the township. It may 
be said that Greene is an average farming section of Parke county. Sufficient 
gravel is found to construct all the roads necessary in the territor)\ 

The Vandalia railroad traverses the northwest corner of the township, 
while the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton line passes through the entire north- 
ern part of it, with a station junction of both roads located at Guion, a ham- 
let of fifty persons. The present assessed valuation of the township is 
St. 005, 580, while its population in 19 10 was placed by the United States cen- 


sus as 1,009. Of the schools and churches other chapters in this work will 
treat at length. 


The early settlers saw the redmen at their doors asking for food and to 
trade with them for furs. Their principal camp was on the north of Little 
Raccoon, northeast of the railroad crossing at Guion. Here, for the last 
time in the history of Greene township, they built their camp-fires, sang their 
songs of war and the chase, raised the war whoop, and bade adieu to the 
hunting grounds and graves of their fathers. They were at all times friendly 
to the settlers, yet it is said that one John Hathaway lost no opportunity to 
dispatch an Indian. His father had been murdered and himself wounded by 
them, at a settlement on the Wabash, and he had sworn to wreak out 
vengeance in their blood. Indian relics found there are such as arrow heads, 
stone axes, and one iron tomahawk, once in possession of Ambrose Lambert, 
was a real curiosity ; it had a curved blade about five inches long by two and 
a half in width; the pole served for a pipe ; the handles to this combined instru- 
ment of war and peace are one. 

Once game of every kind belonging to this latitude was found here in 
abundance. To see twenty-five deer in a drove was nothing uncommon, or 
turkeys to alight on the trees in numbers so great as to break down their 
branches. Squirrels, porcupines, mink and other small animals were as com- 
mon as small birds are now ; now, only a few squirrels remain. Among the 
early settlers Ambrose Lambert was the most successful hunter. Snakes of 
almost every kind were here in great numbers. East of Parkville, on the old 
Mathias Sappinfield farm, is what is known as "snake den." Here, in a cliff 
of sand-stone, serpents of all kinds came in the fall to take up winter quarters. 
In the spring, men came and killed them in great numbers, as they basked in 
the sunshine on the rocks. 


In the autumn of 182 1, five families emigrated from Kentucky to this sec- 
tion of the county. These were Daniel Bruin, Sr., James Buchanan, David 
Todd, Abraham Durlin and Ambrose Lambert, accompanied by three young 
men, and they all settled on the west bank of the north branch of Little Rac- 
coon, south of the railroad crossing of today at Guion station. This without 
doubt was the first settlement in Greene township. They came not to hunt 


deer and dig "'sang," but for the purpose of building for themselves permanent 
homes. These sturdy pioneers went to the task of felling the giant forest 
kings and erecting cabin homes in what was a vast wilderness. Abraham 
Durlin's cabin was the first ready for occupancy, but by the time the winter's 
blast had come on, all were comfortably housed for the long, dreary winter. 
But hard times were in store for this little band of pioneer settlers. They 
had little money or grain, and had to purchase the latter from neighbors at 
very high rates. Then the sound of the water mill had not yet been heard 
in the settlements, and the roads were little more than paths beaten by wild 
beasts and wild men in days long gone by. When they had corn, the)- re- 
duced it to hominy by means of the wooden mortar. This they made in two 
grades, coarse and fine. The former was eaten, with such other food as they 
could procure, for breakfast; the latter was made into a kind of coarse bread 
and served the remainder of the day. At all times, however, they were sup- 
plied with an abundance of wild game. This tided them over until a small 
patch of ground could he cleared, and a crop raised, Yet, it -is written that 
nearly all lived to be old men and women. This colony was followed in the 
spring of 1822 by about fifty families, who settled near them in Union, Wash- 
ington, Greene and Howard townships. 

The second settlement was effected at Portland Mills, in 1823, on the line 
between Parke and Putnam counties, by Clemen Gare, Moses Plart, John 
Foster, Lemuel Norman and Samuel Steele, all of whom were from Ken- 
tucky. The immigration came rushing in mightily from Kentucky, Pennsyl- 
vania and the Carolinas, until about 1836. As early as 1830, the pioneers 
saw the rude round-log cabins, with their board roofs, mud chimneys and paper 
glass windows, all around them in every direction, but as the years wore away 
better abiding places were provided. 


The greatest drawback in this settlement was the lack of mills. Rose- 
ville, twenty-five miles distant, was their nearest milling place. So bad were 
the roads and so high the unbridged streams at times that the families had to 
subsist on such meals as they were able to make by hand, such seasons lasting 
sometimes for weeks. Then a settler never went to mill alone, but the neigh- 
bors would all club together and go with their teams in a company. Extra 
men went ahead, to hew out a road-way and assist the drivers in crossing 
streams and hills. The first mill in this township was erected at Portland 
Mills, in 1825, by Samuel Steele, father of the better known George Kirk- 


Patrick Steele, and pioneer settler of that place. This was a combined grist- 
and saw-mill. It was many times rebuilt and finally, in 1880, was owned by 
J.'E. Blake, being then looked upon as Parke county's best mill. The flour 
made there at an early day was hand bolted. The pioneers and their children 
looked upon Mr. Steele as a great benefactor to his race, and today, were they 
living, would plead for his bust to adorn the Hall of Fame. 

The first, as well as only, still for making liquors in this township was 
built and run by Mathias Sappinfield, on his farm, one mile and a fourth east 
of Parkeville. 

The village of Parkeville was platted in township 16, range 6, October 
4, 1837, by Presley Doggett. Guion, another hamlet, already mentioned, 
was platted by Robert Bruin, January 7, 1882, in section 7 of the same town- 
ship and range. 



Howard is the northern township in Parke county, in range 6, township 
1 6. The east and south boundaries are each six miles in length, and the 
northern boundary is three miles long. Fountain county is to the north, 
Montgomery to the east, while on the south are situated Greene and Wash- 
ington townships. The western boundary is very irregular; along this lie 
Sugar Creek and Penn townships, the latter bounding only a spur, one and a 
half miles wide, projecting from the southwest of Howard township. On the 
west and south of Howard township is some farming land as fine as the "King- 
dom' of Parke" contains. Along the Sugar creek, which flows southwest 
through the township, the surface is very broken for some distance away from 
the banks. The east and south parts of the township are divided into large 
farms, well improved and now very valuable. In lieu of good farms the 
hilly country is rich in its deposits of mineral wealth, sandstone of several 
varieties, and limestone, fit for any sort of buildings. The soapstone beds in 
the township are twenty feet in thickness, between two strata of sandstone. 
Coal and iron ore crop out from the hills. Coal is found in a twelve-foot 
vein and of good quality. 

Up to 1855 Howard formed a part of Sugar Creek township. Before 
this several petitions were presented to the county commissioners by the cit- 
izens on the west side of the township for a division as it is now, but these 
petitions were denied them. In 1855, through the energies of Col. Casper 
Budd, the trustee of Sugar Creek, these petitions were finally granted. The 
territory thus set off was organized into a civil township, called Howard, by 
Colonel Budd in honor of General Howard, then one of the county's most 
prominent men. 

In 1912, the assessed valuation, real and personal, of Howard township 
was $458,025. Its present population (1910 census) is 666. The schools 
and churches are treated under separate general chapters in this work. The 
first church organization was in 1833 and the first school was taught in 1830. 



The original settlers in what is now called Howard township were Heniy 
Litsey, Samuel Snook and James Long. The first located in 1822, on Sugar 
creek; the same year came to section 31 Samuel Snook and the third was 
James Long, on section 17. In 1823 the stream of immigration began pour- 
ing in to Parke county from Kentucky and North Carolina, and by 1830 
there was little choice land for sale. Of these few settlers it may be stated 
that they were quiet, industrious people, who came not for office or specula- 
tion, but simply for the purpose of making for themselves and families homes. 
They made their own cloth from the flax they raised; ate bread from the 
grain they had sown and threshed by hand, and in most cases had pounded it 
into meal and flour. But few bushels were left when the family and stock 
had been supplied. In 1830, Salmon Lusk bought and packed pork at the 
narrows of Sugar creek. This furnished the people with a little ready money 
in exchange for the little stock they produced. At the same time and place 
Prior Wright opened a small general store, which supplied them with the 
few actual necessities needed. With the surplus of a ten-acre farm, when 
pork was only one dollar and twenty-five cents per hundred, calico thirty-five 
cents per yard and salt five dollars per barrel, they could purchase but little. 
These pioneers were nearly all God-fearing people, and early organized church 
societies and held worship in log houses, where the God of their fathers was 
worshiped in a true and faithful manner. 

The great trouble encountered at that day was the securing of suitable 
breadstuffs. Prior to 1826 the nearest points at which they could obtain flour 
was at either Alamo or Roseville. In 1826 Salmon Lusk built a mill at the 
narrows of Sugar creek. The first mill built in the township was by Urial 
Clore; the second was built by Blumens White in 1853, ^^'^ l^t^r known as 
Scott's Mill. No serious epidemics have ever visited this township, and but 
few fatal accidents have occurred. The first person killed was James P. 
Robinson, who fell from his wagon going down a hill near Rockville. The 
next was a lad, named William Montgomery, who was killed by the falling of 
a tree, and the third, Richard Watson, was crushed by the beam of a clover 
huUer at Jacob C. Banta's. 



Jackson township named for old "Rough and Ready," Andrew Jackson, 
once President of the United States, is in the extreme southeast part of Parke 
county, with Putnam county to its east. Union township north. Raccoon town- 
ship west and Clay county, Indiana, to its south. The "hills of Jackson" is 
a common expression in speaking of this portion of the county. Yet much 
good land is found within the limits of the township. The once giant forests 
have been cleared away and beautiful farms are now seen in many sections. 
The saw-mill here was early set to work and did its part in developing the 
country. The Big Raccoon cuts off the northwest corner, passing out in sec- 
tion 1 8. Along this creek lie the rich alluvial bottom lands, more valuable 
than any other kind of soil. The southeast is quite level, the balance being 
rough and hilly. The township abounds in numerous beautiful, never-failing 
springs of pure water that gladden the heart of both man and beast. Then there 
is a wonderful sulphur spring. The Indianapolis & St. Louis railroad passes 
across the southeast corner of this township, and one of its statibns is the 
village of Lena. The old settlers were nearly all dead by 1880. The first 
settlements were effected in the Big Raccoon valley about 1820, at a time 
when the Indian roamed up and down that stream at Avill and was "lord of all 
he surveyed." About 1820 the first cabin in the valley was built where Mans- 
field now stands, being erected by Nelson and Hubbard, for James Kelsey, as 
a residence. In 1821 lands were entered by George Kirkpatrick and Nash 
Gl id well came from Ohio. Robert Glidwell surveyed through this section in 
18 1 6, and about 1823 entered land, his patent being signed by President 
Monroe. In 1821 Zopher and Emily Coleman sought a home in the wilds 
of Jackson township, settling north of the present site of Mansfield. They 
came in from South Carolina. That year a son was born to them and they 
named him Zopher, Jr., he being the second born in the township. George 
Hansel was born in Pennsylvania in 1795, and when the war of 18 12 broke 
out he enlisted and aided in the defense of Fort Hamilton, also crossed the 
White river and helped to destroy the Indian town. Prepared by these ex- 
periences, he came to what is now Parke county in 1820, and entered land 


in what is now the northwest part of Jackson township. He left for two 
years, and then returned to occupy the lands he had selected. He was much 
engaged in the early surveys of this county and constructed with his pen a 
map of Parke county, showing all the sun-eys, sections and streams. He 
served as justice of the peace many years, being the first elected in Jackson 
township. Jacob Cole later owned the farm he settled upon. As early as 
1825, William Bullington arrived. He came from Kentucky to this state in 
181 5, having moved from Virginia to Kentucky in 1807. He said that there 
were not men enough in Parke county to raise a respectable cabin, and that 
many of them lived in their wagons and camped out. Bullington accompanied 
the Indians from Mansfield to St. Louis when they were removed from Ohio 
to the -Osage country. These Indians, one thousand two hundred in num- 
ber, divided into three detachments, separated from each other a day's jour- 
ney, so that the hostility existing between dififerent tribes might be controlled. 
Bullington was twent_\'-three days with these Indians, when he returned. 
By trade he was a mason. In 1869 he removed to Union township and in 
1880 was still living, having reached his four score years. 

Jesse and Amelia Moore both emigrated from South Carolina to Ken- 
tucky, and in 1826 to Jackson township in this county. They started Octo- 
ber 8th, and arrived here and leased twenty-seven acres in the northeast 
quarter of section 9, agreeing to build a house and set out an orchard, besides 
clearing up seventy acres. They had the privilege of using the whole quarter 
section. There were three families of them : the old folks, Jesse and Amelia ; 
Naoma Pruett and husband, with family of two children ; Thomas Moore and 
wife, with one child ; and Joab, a single man. Jesse and his son Joab worked 
a half of the land, and Thomas and Stephen the other half. Thomas became 
the wealthiest man in Jackson township thirty years and more ago. 

In 1829 came Michael and Elizabeth Pruett, hailing from the famous 
Blue Grass district of Kentucky, bringing their son Calvin with them. They 
bought land not far from Mansfield. His sons, Calvin, Cyrenus and James, 
with other children, spent their lives in this township. When the public 
school law was voted on in this county. Calvin Pruett was the only man to 
vote for it in his township. The voters hooted at him and called him "too 
advanced for this county" and he stood and voted alone, but it was not long 
before he was gratified at being vindicated by the passage of the law, the base 
of our present fine school system. Cyrenus Pruett was many years a town- 
ship officer, including that of assessor. James Pruett faced the enem\''s 
shot and shell during the Civil war, and spent fifty-two days in Andersonville 


By 1830 there were possibly twenty-five families within Jackson town- 
ship, as there were thirty-two votes cast at an election in that year. Among 
the pioneers were: Thomas W. Moore, Joseph Coombs, John Coombs, 
Mahalan Stark, James Pursley, Hugh Vinzant, Presley Tyler, John Young, 
Stephen Mannon, Samuel Johnson, Solomon Garrigus. In 1837, howe\er, 
the dull times struck in and not for a number of years was there much immi- 
gration to this county, after which, though, it was redoubled. From 1865 
to 1880 Jackson township made wonderful progress. The census of 1880 
gave it as having 1,442 population. Its present population is 1,157. Its 
assessed valuation in 19 12 is $496,520. 


Lena and Mansfield are the only two villages within this township. The 
older of these is Mansfield. The log cabin of Mr. Kelsey must have been 
the beginning of what was then literally and truly a "man's-field," although 
in a very wild state. No finer mill-site was to be found anywhere in the 
country than at this point. The bed of the Big Raccoon creek is here a 
solid rock, affording an indestructible foundation for both a dam and a mill. 
A mill was constructed here about 1820, at least it must have been within a 
year or so either way from that date. Thomas Woolverton, who purchased 
land in Union township in 1820, helped to raise this mill, and he departed 
that year for Virginia, where he remained five years, then found the mill in 
operation upon his return. So few w^hite men were present in the neighbor- 
hood that Indians were pressed into assisting in the "raising" of this mill. It 
was thirty feet square. Grists came here from a long distance. It was 
owned by several persons, including Kelsey & Dickson, Judge S. Gookins, of 
Terre Haute, and Gen. G. K. Steele, later falling into the hands of Jacob 
Rohm. It was torn down and another built on the old site in 1880. 

Mr. Gookins laid out the village of Mansfield. A postoffice was estab- 
lished in 1825, the postmaster being Mr. Dickson and the mail came from 
Terre Haute. In 1829, G. K. Steele opened a store here; he became owner 
of the mill property in 1838, continuing in both store and mill until 1846. 
The first physicians here were Drs. Nofifringer and Britts; then came Drs. 
Dailey and Farrow. The churches and schools of the village and township 
are treated under separate headings in other chapters. 

In the historjr of Mansfield, the ladies of the village and count v around 
performed one deed that should live in history. Prior to the war, and dur- 
ing that struggle, Mansfield was harboring slavery within her midst in the 


form of intemperance. Rising in their majesty, the}' made open war upon 
the trafific, and with their own efforts rolled barrels of liquor into the streets 
and spilled the contents. Mrs. Samuel Johnston was one of the leaders in 
this whisky insurrection. The ladies were victorious, and Mansfield drew 
full inspirations of pure air. Later, another saloon was started in a building 
standing on the bank of the creek. One night some citizens hitched oxen to 
it and drew it over into the creek, whose waters did the rest! This wound 
up liquor selling, even in drug stores, for many a year. 


Lena, in the southeastern portion of Jackson township, was platted on 
section 35, in township 14, range 6, by Robert King in 1870. It sprung up 
as a station point along the Indianapolis & St. Louis railroad, and soon be- 
came a good shipping point for the immense quantities of lumber and staves 
cut from the surrounding forests. Adjoining the place on the south is Marys- 
\'ille, in Clay county, but both are now really one town. J. B. Cochran, sand- 
wiched between the two places, is credited as having been the oldest resident 
in either place. He was the first merchant and postmaster, also first railroad 
agent and express agent. The first blacksmith was Thornton Wilson; Will- 
iam Girton the first shoemaker; Hasty & Sons were the first millers. Lena 
today has a population of about three hundred, and is a lively local trading 
point in the county. Dr. J. H. Ranch, of Chicago, a wealthy landowner and 
coal operator, passed several years at Lena, erected many buildings, improved 
the streets, graded roads, made brick, mined coal, and in many other ways 
was a promoter of the public good of the new village. A Masonic lodge was 
formed there in 1874. 

While Jackson township had many disadvantages at an early day, and 
was accounted rather slow-growing for many decades, it has finally come to 
rank among the sister sub-divisions of Parke county, as being almost equal 
in prosperity to any other. 



Liberty is the northwestern township in Parke county. The Wabash 
river washes its western borders. Fountain county is on its north, while south 
and east its boundaries are Reserve and Star Creek townships. Its streams 
are Coal, Mill and Rush creeks, with their numerous tributaries, many of 
which, at an early day, furnished an abundance of waterpower for milling 
purposes. The township is one of the most thickly settled in the county, it 
having had a population, in 1880, of 1,774. The last enumeration (1910) 
gave it as 1,513. The 1880 assessed valuation was $449,202 in real estate, 
while its personal property amounted as per assessed valuation to $168,385, 
as against a total valuation of $812,110 in 1912. Some of the finest grazing 
land in Parke county was reported by writers a third of a century ago. The 
bottom lands in the western part of the township are not excelled in all Indiana 
for the fertility of the soil and the annual production of immense crops of 
corn. Originally, Liberty township was composed of thirty-nine full and six 
fractional sections, but in the seventies sections 35 and 36 and the south halves 
of 25 and 26 were cut off to form a part of Penn township. 


The first settlers in Liberty township were located in the northwest 
portion, and came in about 1821-1822, when Abe Timberman, William and 
Edward Brockway and Samuel Arnot came up the Wabash and pitched their 
tents in the vast, untried wilderness, while in 1825 David Shirk arrived, who, 
in addition to hewing out a farm from the forest, preached the gospel to the 
few settlers over that portion of Parke count}', he being of the Baptist denom- 
ination. Early that year came also John Richmond and he was soon fol- 
lowed by the Burtons, who entered land on which Howard now stands. The 
settlers of 1823 included Jacob Bowsher and family, who located on Sugar 
creek, in section 25, at which time the Indians still occupied this part of the 
country, a village of one hundred and fifty wigwams standing on the land he 
chose. The chief of this band was John Cornstalk. They were, however, 
at this date, very friendly with the white settlers, never displeasing them 


further than the occasional stealing of a calf or pig. While off on a hunting 
expedition, a young man named Steever set fire to and burned down their 
village. Upon their return the tribe of Indians went to putting on war paint, 
and asked Mr. Bowsher to tell them who had committed the deed, saying that 
in case he told them no harm would come to anyone but the guilty party. So, 
in defense of his neighbors and himself, he was compelled to tell the Indians 
who it was, but took care to send a boy to notify the Steever fellow of his 
action, so that he might make good his escape, which he did, after the Indians 
had chased him sixty or seventy miles. Soon after that these Indians were 
removed to their reservation, and after that only small parties were ever again 
seen in the township. Near this Indian village was a burying-ground, in 
which more than a hundred graves were found by the first white settlers. 
One, better cared for than the others, was believed to be that of a chief, and 
after the final removal of the Indians it was opened by Joseph Bowsher and 
other boys, who found a string of gold beads, a butcher knife and other relics. 

In 1824 came Lawson Hofifman, settling in the southern part, when nine- 
teen years of age. Joseph Thompson came four years later and at same time 
came Isaac Harvey. The first to effect settlement in what is known as the 
Rush Creek settlement, which was about 1830, was James Marks, who came 
from Kentucky and purchased a quarter section, where later his son George 
resided. After paying for his land at the land ofifice, he had twelve and a half 
cents to begin the world on. John Osborn arrived the same year, and later 
came Isaac Weaver; then James Woody, who came in 1833, followed in 
1834 by George Towell and George Marris, while Thomas, Jonathan, Lot 
and David Lindley arrived in 1832. 

A tan yard was put in operation in 1836 by Harlan Harvey, of Warren 
county, Ohio, and was run by him and his partner, George Madden, who 
arrived in 1837, for sixteen years. In 1840 Mr. Madden laid out a nursery, 
which furnished fruit trees and ornamental shrubs for a wide scope of 
country. A greater part of these settlers were of the Friends religious faith 
and in 1832 a congregation was formed by them, by Isaac Hobson, David and 
Lot Lindley, and a few more. This, with other churches and schools, will be 
mentioned at length in chapters on these subjects. The first school house was 
built in 1830, and its first teacher was Isaac Hobson, who also kept a small 
store at his house on Rush creek. Another store was owned b}- a stock com- 
pany, situated west of Rush Creek meeting house, in which W. Hadley offi- 
ciated as a clerk. At that time prices ranged as follows : Calico fifty cents 
a yard ; coffee, fifty cents a pound ; salt, five dollars per barrel, while wages 
ran from twenty-five to forty cents a day for labor, and in harvest, with the 



reaping-hook, thirty-seven and one-half cents per da)- was paid. Near the 
mouth of Sugar creek was the mill to which this settlement had to look for 
its milling advantages. That was operated by John Beard, an old man, who 
had arrived in the county at a very early day. A saw-mill, propelled by water 
power, was erected on Rush creek by a Mr. Reid, in 1826. At the same time 
there was a small corn cracker in the northwest part of the township, and a 
water mill in the extreme southern part. The first steam saw-mill was built 
in 1848, on section 16, by O. P. Davis, who with his partner, James Woody, 
conducted the mill many years and were successful in their operations and 
of great service to the pioneers. 

About a mile east of the village of Howard is a graveyard, in which 
many of the early settlers are buried. It is situated on a large mound in 
Mill creek bottoms, and is supposed by many to have been the work of mound- 
builders. Such, however, is a mistake, as geologists have determined that it 
is but a natural drift of deposit made in the period when such formations 
were made in this section of America. It had been used as a burial place by 
the Indians, doubtless for centuries, as in digging graves numerous skeletons 
and detached bones are found ; the remains usually found were those of per- 
sons who must have been from six feet six inches to seven feet in height. 
Others of smaller size were also found. A log school house was erected on 
the east side of this mound in 1835, and there many a good citizen of a later 
date received his education. 


The villages within this township are : Waterman, Howard, Sylvania 
and Tangier. Waterman, in the northwest corner, was originally called 
Lodi, the name being changed in 1857, in honor of Dr. Waterman, who set- 
tled there that year and was an irhportant factor, having opened a large gen- 
eral store and a pork-packing establishment. Here a large trade was carried 
on, as in all the early-day river towns, in shipping provisions, grain and other 
commodities to New Orleans, by water, on flat-boats. The salt well at- 
tracted much attention when the Wabash & Erie canal was opened, that, too, 
had great influence in reviving trade until that waterway was abandoned in 
the seventies, after which the town went almost to decay. In 1880 there was 
a large flouring mill erected by C. K. Bright and L. C. Davis. In 1880 the 
business of the place was confined to a drug store, one dry goods store, a 
grocery, a blacksmith shop, a saw-mill and two physicians. There is but little 
there today to mark the former fond hopes entertained by its citizens of the 


fifties and seventies. A Masonic lodge was instituted there in 1855, called 
Lodiville Lodge No. 172. 

Howard, formerly called Westport, is situated on the Wabash river, and 
was laid out in 1827 on land owned by J. and J. Burton, who built a house 
there and opened the first store in the vicinity, probably in the township. The 
place grew rapidly and numerous business houses were erected, among the 
heaviest operators baing James H. Beadle and Harlan Harvey, who shipped 
grain and pork to New Orleans and southern points genei-ally. After the canal 
was opened business greatly increased, there being at one time two large dry 
goods stores, two grain warehouses, and numerous stores and work-shops. 
Thirty-thi'ee years ago all had gone — no trace of business enterprise was left, 
save the bed of the old canal and the decaying timbers of an occasional old 
warehouse. The churches and schools are mentioned elsewhere. The name 
is no longer listed on the maps of Indiana. 

Sylvania, one of the sprightly villages of Parke county forty years ago, 
is located on the northwest quarter of section 14, and is younger than either 
Howard or Waterman. The first to embark in business here was Heniy 
Durham, who opened his blacksmith shop. Following him were Atkinson 
and M. Stout, who each opened stores. Durham sold to Gillum Brothers. 
In 1880 a Masonic lodge was organized at Sylvania. Churches and schools 
are mentioned elsewhere, under general chapter headings. At one time there 
were factories making broom handles, tile, picket fencing, bee-hives and a 
wagon shop. For many years it has been a station point on the Chicago & 
Eastern Illinois railroad. While other towns and hamlets draw from its 
trade, yet a considerable business is carried on at that point. 

Tangier was platted later, just to the north of Sylvania. This is one 
of the modern railroad points of this county and is a convenience to a large 
number of farmers in that section of the county. It was platted by William 
B. Swaine and Edmund Lindley, March 13, 1886, on section 15, township 17, 
range 8. It now has a popuation of about three hundred. 



Penn township is situated in the north-central portion of Parke county. 
It was the latest township formed, its organization taking place in 1854, its 
territory being set off from parts of Liberty, Reserve and Sugar Creek town- 
ships, and is formed in the shape of a letter "T". It contains twenty-one full 
and five half sections. It is bounded on the north by Liberty and Sugar Creek 
townships, Howard and Washington on the east, Adams and Reserve on the 
south and Liberty and Reserve on the west. In 1880 the assessed valuation 
of all property in this township was reported as $655,065, as against $617,775 
in 1912. In 1880 it was fourth in population of the townships in this county, 
and today is, according to the federal census of 1910, 1,393. 

The soil in Penn township is a rich clay loam, which produces large crops 
of wheat and grain of all kinds. Drainage is excellent and the rural scenes of 
today are a feast to the admirer of pretty and highly cultivated farms. The 
land on either side of Sugar creek, in the north part, is hilly and picturesque 
in the extreme. Rock Hollow and other favorite resoi-ts for tourists are 
here found. Sugar creek, Leatherwood, Roaring creek, all are included in 
the streams of the territory. From an early day, mills and factories have 
been built along these streams. The gravel road from Rockville to Annapolis 
greatly improved this township, as did the construction of the Indianapolis, 
Danville & Southern railroad, which has for a station point the village of 
Bloomingdale. This portion of Parke county was originally largely of the 
Quaker, or Society of Friends, religious faith. North Carolina furnished 
most of the pioneers. That was no desirable home for people of this sterling 
faith; they never believed in slavery and would not vote and act with the 
slave-holding element of the South, hence sought new homes in a strange 
land. The act of 1787 declared that the Northwest Territory should be free, 
and for this reason, together with the natural advantages, many of the Friends 
located in Indiana and many came to Parke county. Among the first of this 
sect to locate here was Perley Mitchell, who came about 1823, and was soon 
followed by the Tenbrooks, the largest number of these people coming in 
1824-5. In 1829 came John Woody and sons, James and Thomas. Others 


were Joseph Finney, James Nelson, Stephen Kersey, WilHam Hunt and Eli 
and James McDaniel. 


About 1825-6 the village of Annapolis was first settled, and it was not 
long before the ground was cleared off by William Maris and John Moulder. 
About the same date Bloomingdale (then called Bloomfield) was originated. 
Both places could not, of necessity, succeed, and efforts were made to unite 
the two and locate a town on neutral ground, but this failed, Annapolis re- 
fusing to leave her first choice. A few years after laying off the village the 
first store was opened by Thomas Woody, the next being started by a com- 
pany consisting of William Marvis, John Moulder and Aaron Maris. Either 
John Moulder or William Holliday was the first postmaster. In 1880 the 
business interests of the place consisted of two dry goods stores and a grocery, 
one drug store, two blacksmith shops, one harness shop, a pump factory, saw 
and planing-mill, a pottery, and a few lesser institutions. For churches and 
schools see other chapters. The village now has about two hundred popula- 

Bloomingdale, or Bloomfield as first named, was platted in 1825, or 
1826, south of the present site of the village, where the first store was opened 
in a log house by William Pickard, his son John opening a drug store, it being- 
through the efforts of the latter that the town was begun. But Annapolis for 
a time took away all the trade from this place-, until times changed conditions 
in the community, after which Bloomingdale overtook and even greatly sur- 
passed her rival at the north. The gravel road was constructed in 1864, and 
that aided the place materially. Then the building of the railroad through 
the township in 1873, a short distance to the north, helped Bloomingdale 

Of the once famous Bloomingdale Academy, the reader is referred to 
Prof. Linebarger's article on the schools of Parke county. This forms an 
important item in the history of this county, wielding as it did g.reat influence 
in this section of Indiana for many years. Bloomingdale now has a popula- 
tion of about five hundred and twenty-five people. 


The. men and women who first dared to invade this section met with 
much to dishearten those not possessing stout hearts and strong arms. Work 
for both was the order of the day, which meant half the night as well. Cloth- 


ing all had to be prepared and made from home-made goods. The busy 
house-wife then found little time to spin "yarns" as gossiping women do 
now-a-days. The yarns they spun were of a better, more useful variety. 
The people then carded and spun their own wool by hand, the cards being 
fastened to two pieces of board a foot long and five inches wide, with handles 
in the center. The wool was put on one of them with the hand, and when 
carded enough the back was used to take off the roll. It was about 1825, 
when Perley Mitchell started his carding machine, and it was not long before 
several others were in operation. The machines in use at that time were 
similar to those used today. The rolls were about two feet long, and when 
carded were rolled up in a sheet or blanket, being pinned together with thorns, 
and weighed from ten to forty pounds. They were usually carried home on 
a horse in front of the rider, then spun on what was known as the "big wheel." 
From twelve to forty cuts was a day's stint, and the pay for spinning warp was 
sixteen and two-thirds cents; for filling, a shilling per dozen cuts, and for 
carding rolls, with machinery, ten to t\A'elve cents per pound. The wages 
paid for weaving were, for plain, ten cents a yard : for twilled, twelve and a 
half cents, from three to five yards being a good day's work. Two hands 
with machinery, could easily card and spin one hundred dozens per day of 
coarse yarn as was used at that time, and one girl with a power loom could 
weave from thirty to sixty yards per day. Every woman understood the art 
of dyeing all colors perfectly, excepting blue, which was more difficult to 
manage and was governed by luck or the sign. The colors were obtained 
from various barks, those chiefly used being walnut, which produced a favor- 
ite, fashionable color of brown goods ; yellow, from black oak bark, and 
swamp ash for drab. Unless a girl could do all these kinds of work she was 
not considered "bright" enough for marriage. 

About 1834, Mahlon Reynolds erected his fulling-mill, in partnership 
with Jerry Siler, on section 23, on Leatherwood creek. The machinery con- 
sisted of a shearing machine, press plate, screw press papers, and copper dye 
kettle, which would contain about sixty gallons, having been brought from 
Dayton, Ohio, a special trip having been made there by Todd Mazwcll, with 
a huge two-horse wagon, to purchase them, and who later rented the mill and 
conducted it for several years. This fulling-mill was run by water power, and 
the shearing machine by hand. The following prices obtained: Fulling, 
coloring and dressing the cloth, twenty-five cents per yard ; without dressing, 
twenty cents ; coloring and scouring flannel, ten cents ; coloring and fulling 
jeans, ten cents. For several years the dye stuffs were hauled in wagons to 
the mill from Davton, Ohio. 


About 1827, Simon Rubottom erected the first grist-mill in the town- 
ship on Leatherwood creek, on section 23, the millwright being an old man 
named Antony. The machinery consisted of an under-shot water-wheel and 
one run of stones, or "nigger-heads," each burr being a single stone. The 
bolt was a single reel, twelve feet long, inclosed in a chest, and was operated 
by hand. The flour, middlings and shorts, all fell into this chest, the bran 
coming out at the end. The miller separated the flour, middlings and shorts 
with a wooden shovel, the former afterwards being carried up stairs in a 
half bushel measure to the bolting hopper. The building was a rough affair, 
constructed of logs, without chinking or daubing, and no floor except a little 
around the hopper. When a fire was needed it was made on the ground, and 
the smoke allowed to escape through the cracks. 

The first saw-mill in this neighborhood was that of Perley Mitchell, on 
Leatherwood creek, in 1826; the next by Isaiah Pemberton, in 1828, a half 
mile up the same stream. On account of bad engineering, later it was dis- 
covered that the work was useless, as there was not fall enough to drive the 
machinery, when it was torn down and moved to the other side of the creek, 
by William Pearson, in 1829. In 1831, Adam Siler built a mill a half mile 
above the last named, which could be run about half the year. Two of these 
mills failed entirely in 1845; that of Pearson was kept sawing until 1862. 
From five to eight hundred feet of lumber was a day's cut. Sometimes they 
run all night through, and on Sunday as well. Saw logs were generally 
hauled during the winter on sleds drawn by oxen. When horses were used, 
the. simplest harness was emplo3ed, consisting of shuck collars and rope har- 
ness, entirely destitute of iron, save the bridle-bits. "Log-chains" were made 
from large rope twisted together. The sawing rates were twenty-five cents 
per hundred feet for poplar and thirty-seven and a half cents for hard timbers. 
Lumber sold at the mill from fifty to seventy cents per hundred feet, and had 
dull sale at that, until the prairies west of the Wabash Ijegan to be settled up, 
when large quantities were demanded. The first steam saw-mill was that of 
Jeremiah Siler, a fourth of a mile south of Bloomingdale, about i860. 

In 1848 another mill was built at Devil's Den, on Sugar creek, in section 
36, by Prior Wright, whose store at the Narrows had Ijeen \\ ashed away by 
the high water of the year before. 

In 1837 \Villiam G. Coffin erected a foundry on Leatherwood creek, two 
and a half miles northwest of Bloomingdale, where he made the first cast plow- 
used in this part of Indiana. Owing to its weight and clumsiness, it was 
never popular and was soon dri\-en out of the markets. 



One of the biggest industries, however, was that of constructing flat- 
boat's. John M. Kelly gave the following, in substance, concerning this 
enterprise, which runs as follows : 

"The first flat-boat was built in the winter of 1833-4 at the Narrows of 
Sugar creek, and immediately afterward at Coxy's boat yard, three miles 
away. The next established was Campbell's and Tenbrook's, at what is now 
known as Rockport Mill, then called Devil's Den. A few years later the 
business was carried on extensively at Jessup's Mill on Mill creek, at Coffin's 
boat yard, where the old foundry stood, and at several points above the nar- 
rows of Sugar creek. John Kelly engaged in the business in 1833 at Coxy's 
boat yard, the usual dimensions of boats being sixty feet long and sixteen 
feet wide. He was advised by old boat-builders not to exceed that size on 
account of the danger and difficulty of getting them out of Sugar creek, it 
being a crooked and very rapid stream. This advice coming from men older, 
and of more experience than himself, he accepted as sound doctrine, until 
his own experience taught him different. Mr. Kelly stated that the most diffi- 
cult boat to manage he ever handled was fifty feet long and twelve feet in 
width, while the easiest one was eighty-five feet long bv eighteen in width. 
About the average price of a boat sixty feet long, delivered in the Wabash, 
was one hundred dollars, the size of the gunnels to secure a ready sale being 
thirty inches at the bow-rake, which was the largest part and ten inches thick. 
A tree suitable for gunnels used to cost from one to five dollars according 
to distance from the yard, the tree being split into the necessary size where 
felled and the gunnel logs hauled by oxen to the boat-yard. When the Ijoat 
was framed and ready for the bottom, the planks are fastened in their places 
with wooden pins, it recjuiring from ten to twelve hundred of them to com- 
plete the job. It recjuires seven thousand feet of lumber to build a sixty- 
foot flat-boat and this must be all first class, as there is no place for inferior 
lumber, save in the false floor. From twelve to twenty pounds of hemp are 
required to calk a boat of this size, after which the \essel was ready for 
launching. The boats were built from three to four feet above the gunnel 
and sided up with two-inch plank, the same as the bottom, the roof, which 
had a pitch of sixteen inches, being covered with five-eighth-inch boards. 
The vessels were run out of the creek with two oars, one at the bow and 
one at the stern, none being used on the side while in the creek, except upon 
going over dams when the water was low, when it was necessary to get up 


as much headway as possible, that being the safest method. The steering 
oar is made of the same length as the boat, and so constructed as to balance 
in the middle. The steersman stands, or rather walks, on a bridge in the 
center of the vessel, so that by the time he reached New Orleans he would 
walk a great many miles, from one side of the craft to the other, while steer- 
ing her on her course. At the date of the first construction of flat boats here, 
the cargo consisted entirely of com and pork, but a few years later crates of 
wheat, flour, lumber, staves, hoop-poles, potatoes, poultry and even live hogs 
became common. The amount of ear corn which a sixty-foot boat would 
carry was one thousand eight hundred bushels, but there was a constantly in- 
creasing demand for larger boats and before the business went out of exist- 
ence boats were built which would carr)' double that amount." 



This township derived its name from its having been a part of the 
Indian reservation, which consisted of a strip of territory on the Wabash 
river, seven miles in width, extending from the mouth of Sugar creek to the 
mouth of the Raccoon. It comprises twenty-two full and five fractional sec- 
tions, and originally contained a large portion of what is now Penn town- 
ship. Its w-estern boundar}' being the Wabash river, its territory early at- 
tracted the attention of pioneers going up and down the river in search of 
homes. Liberty township is to its north, Penn on the east and south is 
Wabash township. A third of a century ago and more this township was 
noted for having the largest farms and some of the best in the county. Ex- 
cept the draws and rough land along Sugar creek, the entire township is fitted 
for successful agriculture, and has come to be highly improved and well culti- 
vated by men who, knowing the producing qualities of the fertile soil, hold 
their lands at a very high figure. Eastward fi"om the Wabash river there is 
a strip of over two miles in width, extending back to the blufifs, which was 
originally covered with the finest kind of heavy timber. The assessed valua- 
tion of the personal and real property in this township in 19 12 as shown by 
the county records was $718,235. Its population in 1910 was 2,224. Of 
the schools, churches and lodges, see chapters of a general county nature 
within this volume. 


Ohio furnished many of the first settlers for this section of Indiana, who, 
having been pioneers in that state, knew full ^^•ell how to subdue another 
wilderness and cause it to blossom like the rose. North Carolina also fur- 
nished many more, a greater portion of whom were of the Society of Friends, 
and this people left their moral and Christian impress upon the township. 
The Indians, knowing full well what sort of men and women they had to cope 
with, made the pioneers their friends. The first to come into what is Reserve 
township to make a permanent settlement were the Linebargers, in 1822, the 
next being John "Beard, who erected the first mill on Sugar creek in that vear, 
the Browns, Mellikins and Jorias Horgar, immigrating at the same time. In 


the southeastern part, in 1825, came Puett and Charles Burton. In 1826 
Solomon Allen arrived, the other early settlers being Warren Davis, Daniel 
VVickersham, the Morris family, Isaac Pemberton, Peyton Wilson, Abraham 
Halliday, Jeremiah Siler and others. Another settlement was that at Monte- 
zuma, those in the van being Whitlock, Majors, Joseph Hayes, Webster and 
Feeney, who arrived about 1 823 or 1 824. William and Thomas Cook, James 
and Samuel Hill, Aquilla Justin, John Shook and Chatsworth also arrived at 
an early day. Immigration soon rapidly increased and poured a steady, 
strong current into the heart of the wild forests, which soon heard the sound 
of the woodsman's axe and the land where for centuries had stood the stately 
trees was turned into grain and corn fields. The leveling of the forests also 
created another paying industry, that of lumbering and milling; John Beard 
erected the first mill, the simple corn-cracker of which A\as put in operation 
in 1822. It stood at what is now known as West Union. It was a log 
structure and the grinding arrangement consisted principally of nigger-head 
burrs, which, if sharp and newly dressed, would grind grain to the amount 
of about three bushels per hour. \Vhen the pioneer wanted wheat flour he 
had to go to Roseville, where the nearest flouring mill was situated. In 1826 
Solomon Lusk erected a mill at the Narrows, and in 1827 Simon Rubbottom 
built one on Leatherwood creek, and in the same year another mill was put 
up near Armiesburg, after which the settlers had milling nearer home. The 
implements used at an early day were of rude construction, and the following" 
description, written many years since, will give the reader an idea of their 
character in general : Of course the axe was first in importance and was 
used for many mechanical purposes. It was designed for practical every- 
day use, more for what it would do than for its beauty or ornamentation. 
The Carey plow, the most generally in use, was a rude afifair, having a 
wrought iron share and a wooden mould-board. This was succeeded in 1839 
by the cast-iron plow made by W. G. Coflin at his foundry, two or three 
miles northwest of Bloomingdale. This implement was, however, so clumsy 
and heavy that it never amounted to much for practical use. Then came the 
Peacock plow, which had a cast mould-board and a wrought iron share. It 
was made at Cincinnati and superseded all others. Five years later the Rich- 
mond steel plow appeared on the markets and came into favor among the 
farmers. The fields of the pioneer were not large, hence the crops were not 
heavy to plant or culti\ate. There being no markets for several years there 
was no incentive to grow much more than home consumption deriianded. 
The flail was the implement first used in threshing out the grain harvested, 
but was soon exchanged for that better method of securing the wheat, that 


of treading out by horses or oxen tramping the grain, after which the chaff 
was blown out by means of the wind, or by a sheet in the liands of two i>er- 
sons, making an improvised "fan." The earHest threshing machine in Re- 
serve township was about 1840, owned by Elsberry Jinnet, and was a very 
incomplete affair, threshing from fifty to one hundred bushels per day, and 
delivering the grain and chaff together, later to be separated with a fan. A 
two-horse tread-power was employed to run this machine. Soon the four- 
horse Ground Hog machine came into use, and as the }'ears went by improved 
machines were invented. 

The mowing scythe, hand-rake and wooden pitchfork were the imple- 
ments of hay and harvest, the latter often being a forked sapling with its 
rough prongs sharpened. The grain scoop was not known for se\ eral )ears. 
In cribbing corn it was either thrown with the hands or pushed out of the end 
of the wagon with the feet. The first scoop made in the township w as made 
of wood, and owned by John Fortner. In about 1S38 iron scoops came into 
common use. 

On account of this township being reserve land, it was not opened up to 
the public as soon as that in other parts of the county. Game of all kinds 
remained here some time after the animals had been driven from other set- 
tlements. Black bear could be found occasionally after the arrival of the 
first settlers; in fact, in 1827 Solomon Allen killed one in his door yard. 
Deer were seen in large droves and furnished the settlers \\ith an abundance 
of good meat, while their skins were used for a number of practical purposes. 
Wild turkeys were formerly very abundant, while ducks and geese were num- 
berless. The raccoon, opossom, fox, mink, otter, wolf, muskrat, weasels and 
other fur-bearing animals were found in large numbers. 

Flat-boating was largely carried on from this part of the county, such 
vessels being the only means of conveyance and transportation of produce to 
markets, and the building and manning of these crude crafts gave employ- 
ment to many men. A boat-yard was situated near the mouth of Rush creek 
at a very early date, and at several points on Sugar creek, as noted in the his- 
tory of Penn township. 

The first school in this township was in the Linebarger .settlement in 
1824. The first birth was that of Joseph Allen, in 1827, and the first 
recorded death was Solomon Allen's infant, alxiut the vear 1827. The first 
wedding was that uniting Jeremiah Morris and Mary .Vnn Lewis. The 
arrival of Mr. Allen in the country was quite a help to the settlement, as he 
was a wheelwright and cabinet-maker, and made coftins, for which he receixed 
fi-om twenty-five cents to three dollars each. After paying for his land, after 


coming in, he had eighty-seven cents left to begin home-building with. On 
finishing his cabin he immediately seasoned lumber, from which he con- 
structed tubs, buckets and other articles of domestic use, the proceeds from 
the sale of which enabled him to live until he got a few acres cleared up, and 
then raised a crop. The second season of his residence here he spent seventy- 
two days assisting his neighbors in log rolling and raising cabins and barns. 


Montezuma and Coloma are the two town plattings within this township 
around which clusters some of tlie interesting histoiy of this subdivision of 
Parke county. Montezuma is situated in the southwest corner of Reserve 
township, on the east bank of the Wabash river, and was a place of early- 
clay importance in this section of Indiana, when the Wabash river and the old 
\Vabash & Erie canal were the great water-ways and outlets to the outside 
markets The town was laid off by Whitlock and Majors about 1824, and 
a larger platting effected in canal days by Ambrose Whitlock, July 20, 1849, 
on sections 25, 26, 35 and 36, township 16, range 9. The first store was 
opened by Joseph M. Hayes ; the next by Nesmith, whose stock, it is related, 
consisted of two bolts of calico and a barrel of whisky. The third store was 
Feeney's. The first justice of the peace was Mr. Chatsworth, and the first 
physician was Dr. Samuel Hill, who arrived at an early day. The first frame 
house, and which was standing about thirty years ago, or possibly later, was 
built by Mr. Webster. It should be remembered that the Wabash river towns 
of that long ago day consisted of Montezuma, Covington, Portland, Attica, 
Williamsport, LaGrange and Lafayette, and a spirited rivalry was on between 
these points for the supremacy. As river towns they all were equallv situ- 
ated as to commeixial importance and for years it was hard to tell which 
would finally terminate in a city of goodly proportions. Keel-boats and 
pirogues touched all of these landings and the same pioneer steamboats did 
carrying trade for each. Eventually, Lafayette obtained and kept the prize, 
it ha\ ing secured a railroad before the other towns. However, upon the com- 
pletion of the Wabash & Erie canal in 1850, Montezuma took on a new life 
and up to i860 was the most prosperous period it had ever experienced. 
Business of all kinds, for all this section of country on both sides the river.' 
was carried forwai'd in good and enterprising shape. The business of clos- 
ing the canal, efifected about 1873, sounded a death knell to many, industries 
at Montezuma, but the building of the Decatur, Indianapolis & Springfield 
railroad, in that year, brought new hope to the citizens of the river town. 


for here a station was established and the company erected their shops there. 
Since then the town has gone along in its quiet manner, ebbing and falling 
like the ocean's tide, some decades being better than others, but never reaching" 
the once fancied greatness it hoped to attain to. In 1880 the town had a large 
flouring-mill, four grain warehouses, two saw-mills, one planing-mill, a pack- 
ing and slaughter house, two dry goods stores, two drug stores, six groceries, 
one clothing store, one hotel, a livery, agricultural implement warehouse and 
two saloons. Its population then numbered about 700, and that of the town- 
ship was 1,550. The 1910 census gave Montezuma a population of 1,537, 
and Reserve township was given as 2,224. In 1880 the assessed valuation of 
Montezuma corporation was in personal property, $105,075, and of real 
estate, $123,060, while the township had $456,466. Today (,1912) the valua- 
tion of real and personal property in- Montezuma is $420,888, and in the town- 
ship a total of $718,235. 

In 1880, the railroad repair shops were burned and man}- men thrown 
out of employment, which tended to injure the growth of the place. 

Disastrous fires, too, have played their part in hindering the growth of 
Montezuma. Among these was that of 1907, which destroyed the newly 
built Sanitarium hotel, a mineral water resort of modern type, with more than 
forty elegant rooms and all modern fixtures. The artesian well furnished a 
superior water to many of the well-known and successful health resorts of 
the country. The property on which flows the artesian water is owned by, 
at least controlled, by William Montgomery. 

The old flouring-mill, after manj^ years, was converted into a cob- 
grinding mill, which when it was, doing a good business, in 1909, was also 
burned and never rebuilt. To the east of town a few miles is located one of 
the largest brick-making plants in the state. It is known as the Marion 
Brick Works. 


At present Montezuma has the following interests: 
The First National Bank, Citizens Bank. 
Montezuma Enterprise, C. S. Overman. 
Postmistress, Emma Powell. 
Hotel, D. I. Dunlap. 

General stores — J. E. Johnson & Co., William H. King, Kemp Bros., 
W. B. Pawley, M. Watson. 

Hardware — Cornwell & Spencer 
Drugs— A. B. Powell, F. S. Stebbins. 


Harness — Charles Fortner. 

Clothing — Harry Reeder. 

Elevator — Rohm Bros. 

Feed mill — George Mathas. 

Cement blocks — William Carty and Wallace Dietz, contractors. 

Lumber — ^Montezuma Lumber Company. 

Furniture — Hugh Montgomeiy & Company. 

Restaurants — Alexander Leslie, John Gilmore. 

Tin Shop and Sheet Metals — L A. Sharp. 

Livery — Cheesewright & Machin. D. M. Scott. 

Blacksmiths — Richard Mcintosh, H. Webster, H. Welchans. 

Meats — A. B. Jones, W. P. Pawley, H. Aikman. 

Physicians — Mrs. R. L. Dooley, J. C. Reeder, O. A. Xewhouse. 

Veterinary Surgeon — Dr. Back. 

Carpet factory — S. Case. 

Automobile Garage — Pitman & Co. 

Gravel companies — Three in number. 

Saloons — Four in number. 

Barbershops — Three in number. 

Transfer company — H. Reirdan. 

Dental Surgeon — One. 

Photograph gallery — One. 

Jewelry — One. 

Machine shoi^ — A. E. Higbee. 

Newspaper — The Enterprise. 


The history of the corporations here dates back to a very early date. 
The 1912 officers are: President, William Whitson; members, H. D. Coffin, 
Fred Dicken, Dr. B. F. Hudson, George Mathas; treasurer, Joseph Taylor; 
clerk, O. N. Henderson; marshal, N. S. Wheeler. 

In 1906 an electric light plant was installed, the power coming from and 
furnished by the Burns & Hancock brick plant on the west side of the Wabash 
river. It has been a success and the forty street lights are now no expense to 
the town, as the plant is more than self-sustaining, and it is designed, as 
soon as possible, to erect new works in the town proper and add water works, 
making a combined plant. 


The churches of Montezuma are: The Methodist, Presbyterian, Chris- 
tian, United Brethren, HoHness and the Cathohc. 

The lodges are Masonic, Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias. 

Coloma is a small hamlet situated on sections 33 and 34, of Reserve 
township. Its population is about two hundred. It is located on Rocky run, 
and was laid out in 1876, but was located in 1864, when William Lewis 
opened a store there. M. Morris purchased this store, and was appointed the 
first postmaster. For many years William P. Musgrave conducted the only 
store of the place. Rocky Run Friends church was located at this point 
many years since. This village serves well the surrounding community in 
which it is pleasantly situated. 



Tile Indians called the two streams now known as Big and Little Rac- 
coon creeks, "Big and Little Coon." These streams both cross this township 
and hence its name. The township, which is six miles square and contains 
twenty thousand and forty acres, is situated in the southern tier of townships. 
The land was once densely covered by a forest of giant trees, which had to be 
cut down before the surface was suited for farming; this was a great task, 
but was finally accomplished by the sturdy pioneers' axe. In the Raccoon bot- 
toms the land is composed of a rich alluvial soil, yielding large crops of corn 
and wheat. Other parts of this township are not so fertile and productive, 
but since draining has been made, and several marshes reclaimed, there is 
much good land outside the bottoms. What is known as the "Ten O'Clock 
Line," which divides the old and new purchases, crosses this township from 
sections 6 to 36. 


Just who was the first person to actually settle in this township is not 
fully established. James Kerr and Dempsey Seybold came into the township 
and selected lands in 1816, but there seems no authority showing that any 
permanent settlement was effected until 1818, when Dempsey Seybold came 
with his family from Kentucky, and settled on section 20, later known as the 
Jeffries property. Mr. Seybold brought his wife and at least one child, 
Thomas K., born in 1816, who afterwards married and became the father of a 
family, among whom were W. H. H. Dempsey, C. John and James H., all 
well known settlers of Raccoon township in later years. It is certain that Mr. 
Seybold was the second settler in this township north of the Big Raccoon 
creek, there being only one other in the vicinity at the time, and only three 
families in Parke county north of the Big Raccoon. Mr. Seybold became 
influential and was one of the men who helped to locate the county seat and 
court house square of Vigo county, in Terre Haute. He later served as judge 
of the court as an associate judge. He died on June 3, 1835, leaving at least 
two sons, Thomas K. and Dempsey. Thomas K. was murdered at Terre 
Haute, April 9, 1850, and the hand that perpetrated the crime was not known 


for several years, when at last a man from Illinois, on his death-bed, con- 
fessed the deed. Before the Seybolds could reach the sick man death had 
remo\ed the criminal, so that the mystery was never fully understood. About 
the time last mentioned, came in the Mitchells. William D. Mitchell was born 
in Raccoon township February 22, 1818. The Millers settled here either 

1818 or 1819, for John B. Miller was born here August 25, 1819. It is said 
that the first log cabin built in the township was by one Richardson. Other 
settlers in 1818-19 were the Adamses, Samuel, Sr., William, Andrew, James, 
John and Samuel Adams, also William Nevins and possibly a few more. In 

1819 Nathaniel Bliss Kalle}-, then nineteen years of age, came from Ohio to 
Raccoon township and leased a farm from David Hansel. There were not 
enough men in the community to raise Dickson's mill, so Indians were pressed 
into such work. With Indian Bill, Nathaniel Kalley used to sport in 
wrestling matches. He raised a crop of corn and then returned to Ohio and 
in 1821 or 1822 returned with his father and mother, and family of wife and 
one child, Ruth, he having been married to Rebecca Hansel in Ohio. He 
rented till 1831, when he entered the west half of the northeast cjuarter of 
section 11, township 14, range 7. His patent was signed by Andrew Jackson, 
President of the United States. He was one of the township's best and most 
stirring men. His father, David, entered one hundred and twenty acres east 
of Nathaniel's, where he spent the remainder of his years. At about this 
time, and very soon thereafter, came in Jacob Bell, John Blue, John Morrow, 
James Barnes, John Robinson, Joseph Ralston, John Prince and Vincent Jack- 

In 1820 \A"illiam Rea. father of the first clerk of Parke county, came, in 
company with James Boyd and James Fannin, from Chillicothe, Ohio, and 
settled on the southwest cjuarter of section 7, in Raccoon township, and there 
erected a log cabin, which still stood thirty years ago, having always served 
as a comfortable dwelling house. He was the first to locate on the Little Rac- 
coon. Either in the autumn of 182 1 or the spring of 1822, John Sunderland, 
Sr., and son, John, Jr., came from Ohio and located on the northeast quarter 
of section 6, and a son-in-law of [Mr. Sunderland, Henry Green, settled on the 
east half of the northwest quarter of section 5. In the fall of 1820 Thomas 
Gilkinson, in company with James Buchanan, came to what is now Raccoon 
township and entered their land. In the spring of 1821 Thomas Gilkinson 
came in and took land in the southwest quarter of section 5, built a cabin, 
cleared off a few acres and tended his crop of corn, and in the fall of that 
vear brought his wife and five children from Kentuckv and settled in what 


was then a wilderness of wood and wild animals. In 182 1 Jeptha Garrigus 
moved to Raccoon township, bringing his family in a boat down the Ohio 
ri\er, up the Wabash and Big Raccoon, into the southwest part of Raccoon 
township, where he settled. Jeptha is supposed to have brought the first rats 
to this region among his articles of freight. He had thirteen children, and 
had served as a colonel in the war of 181 2. When he was married, at his 
request the following marriage ceremony took place: "I, Tobias Miller, jus- 
tice of the peace for the county of Parke, do hereby certify that Jeptha Gar- 
rigus and Polly Kratdzer are joined together in marriage as long as they 
could agree, by me this October 24, 1834. John G. Danis, clerk." 

About this time there were three separate settlements in Raccoon town- 
ship : The Bell and Garrigus settlement, in the southern part ; the settlement 
around "Sodom," so called on account of its distillery and the general wicked- 
ness of the place ; it is now Bridgeton ; and the settlement in the northwestern 
port, known as the Pleasant Valley settlement. 

From 1820 to 1830 prominent among the newcomers were James Hop- 
per, the Hartmans, Charles Beacham. Samuel Crooks, William Rea and 
Robert Martin. These early settlers were men of sturdy, honest yeomanry 
of the Eastern and Southern states, who desired free and independent homes 
of their own. Indeed, through all those long years of hardships, they were 
building far better than they knew, and their children and children's children 
are now reaping the reward of those pioneer years on the part of those early- 
day toilers and builders. 


The Lock.vood mills, later known as ihe Bridgeton mills, were Iniilt by 
Lockwood anill Ailliman about 1823, but owned by Oniel and Wasson. Daniel 
Kalley later owned the mill site. It changed hands several times and finally 
burned down. The next fall the records runs that "the people got up a frolic, 
got out logs and built a new mill." It was run till 1869 and burned again, 
but replaced by a large frame structure, four stories high, costing fourteen 
thousand dollars. 

The first saw-mill on Little Raccoon \\as l>uilt by Thomas Gilkinson in 


Catlin, Bridgeton and Diamond are the three platted villages within Rac- 
coon township. Away back in the early years, when the surrounding country 
was little else than a wilderness, and the old stage routes connected the prin- 


cipal points of civilization, there began on the banks of the Big Raccoon what 
is now the sprightly prosperous town of Bridgeton. The start was the erec- 
tion of a mill that cracked corn. This was about 1821. Nathaniel Smock 
opened a store, and later a distillery started up and was operated many years. 
This made a bad neighborhood which many years ago reformed and is no 
longer known as it was once, as "Sodom." Mulligan & Ketchum also handled 
general merchandise at this point, and sold to Mr. Searing. The town was 
then platted and Smock & McFarland were the leading merchants. In 1856 
Dr. James Crooks settled in Bridgeton. His father was William B. Crooks, 
the first physician in Raccoon township. Milk-sickness was an awfully 
dreaded disorder of early days, and Dr. Crooks seemed to have a fair specific 
for it and was very successful in treating his scores of patients. 

The location of Bridgeton is section 22, township 14, range 7 west. It 
was platted by James and Mary Searing, March 27, 1857, and was named 
from the bridge across the Big Raccoon at that paint. In 1880 it had one 
hundred and twent}- population, but now has two hundred and twenty-five. 

Catlin is a station point on the Vandalia railroad. It took its origin from 
the fact tliat the railroad ran through that part of the to\\nship and in the 
early years of the Civil war, Hiram Catlin. a Mr. ]\Iontgomeiy and Henry 
Miller owning the land, it was thought best to start a town and shipping point. 
Hence Mr. Catlin erected a grain warehouse there, he having for a partner 
in liis enterprise Thomas Harshman. They bought grain and carried a small 
stock of general merchandise. In 1861 a blacksmith shop was built by James 
Sanderson, and Joseph Terry built a wagon shop. The early growth of Cat- 
lin was due largely to the enterprise of James Ray, who came from Ohio to 
Vigo county in 1820, and to Catlin in 1861. In 1862 he erected his saw-mill, 
and in 1865 a good grist-mill. He also built a store room, with a public hall 
above. In all he built seven of the best early-day buildings in the hamlet. A 
postoffice was secured in 1862, and Thomas Catlin was appointed postmaster 
by President Lincoln. For many years Catlin was the chief depot for the 
extensive stave trade of this community, and the material was supplied bv 
two saw-mills near by, Hamilton's and Wakefield's. 

Today Catlin is a good town, with many excellent business houses and 
tasty residences. Its population is less than two hundred. The schools, 
churches and lodges of this town, as well as all others in the county, are 
treated under separate headings. 

The population of the township in 1910 was 1,702. The total assessed 
valuation of property in Raccoon township in 1912 is $958,720. 


At Catlin is the great Standard oil pumping station, with its large tanks. 
This company pays taxes on $100,000 worth of property in Parke county. 

The village of Diamond, in this township, was the outgrowth of the 
large coal mining interests of that section of Parke county. It was platted 
on section 34, township 14, range 7, December 10, 1893, by the Brazil Block 
Coal Company. It became a prosperous town and all the common branches 
of business were carried on successfully so long as the mines were running in 
full blast, but because of decline in the mining interests, trouble with labor 
and capital and other causes, the town is not as good as fomierly. Its popu- 
lation in 1910 was placed by the census bureau at 1,007, which has materially 
decreased and the corporation of the town has applied to be annulled and it 
will be assessed and cared for under the old township government after 191 2. 



In the north central portion of Parke count)' is Sugar Creek township. 
It is on the north line of the county, west of Howard, north of Penn, and 
east of Liberty township. It was originally a part of Howard township, but 
later a part of Penn township; it was divided in 1855, and now contains 
twenty-three full and five fractional sections. The topography of this part 
of Parke county is very rough and hilly, but even these hilly lands are val- 
uable, as they afford a w-onderful grazing tract and as such have yielded 
millions of dollars worth of stock and wool to the owners. Greene, Brush, 
Mill and Sugar creeks and numerous branches flow through this township, 
having in years gone by furnished splendid power for the mills located along 
their banks. In 1912 the total personal and real estate valuation, according 
to the county records for this township, was $354,395. Its population in 1910 
\^•as placed at 680. 

The first settlement has about all been recited, so far as interest is con- 
cerned today, in giving the establishment of the first mills, etc. In 1826, at 
the narrows of Sugar creek, was built the first mill in this part of the county, 
by Solomon Lusk. He cut and blasted the mill-race through the rock and 
erected a large mill, making a good grade of flour. He also established a pork 
packing house, and shipped large amounts of grain, pork and flour to points 
as far south as New Orleans. He sent as many as twenty flat-boats to that 
gulf port annually. At the same place, in 1830, Prior Wright opened the first 
store in the township, which, along with the mill and other valuable holdings, 
were all swept down the stream by the floods on New Year's morning, 1847. 
In the north part of the township the settlers commenced to pour in by 1827, 
among the first being David Allen, T. Poplit, John Summers, Daniel Myers, 
Thomas Ratcliffe, Walter Clark, Jesse Barker, John and Thomas Cachatt 
and Esquire Moore. In the southern part came in Joseph Thompson, Elisha 
Heath, William Floj^d, William Jenkins, James Bacus, William Cox and 
Zimri Hunt. 

The second mill was built on Mill creek, on the later site of Russell's 
mills, by Joseph Thompson in 1829, the dam being formed by felling a large 


poplar tree which stood on the bank of the stream, and letting it fall across 
the stream. This dam lasted for twenty years. The original mill was a 
small affair, in a log house, in which corn was cracked by a pair of nigger- 
head stones, the grain when ground being bolted by hand, the water-power 
bolting machine being an improvement put in later. Thomas Cachatt oper- 
ated this mill until his death, in 1842, when it was sold to Jerry Kemp, and 
later still it was owned by Joe Russell. In the seventies this mill was refitted 
and converted into a steam mill, with water power when there was a sufficient 

Wilkins' mill, on Mill creek, was erected by Jessup & Hunt in 1835, ^''^t 
as a saw-mill, then changed to a saw and carding-mill, and still later with a 
corn cracking mill. In 1852 it was sold to Wilkins, who took the old mill 
down and rebuilt on the south side of the stream. It was finally burned in 
1877; Mr. Wilkins died and it was never rebuilt. 

The first meeting house in this township was a log house near the center 
of section 16, built about 1830 by the Methodists. In the northeast corner of 
section i was erected what, in 1879, was the oldest church building in use in 
the county, and probably the oldest in this part of Indiana. It was built in 
1835 by the Baptist denomination, and known as the Wolf Creek Baptist 
church. The congregation was formed in 1833. 

The first public road was constructed through this section in 1835, by 
James Bacus, and styled the Greencastle and Perryville road, of which the 
pioneers were very proud. This township had numerous Grange lodges in 
the palmy days of the Patrons of Husbandry, but they have long since gone 
the way of all the earth, and "middle men," legitimate dealers, have taken the 
place of half farmer and half merchant men. 

At Russell Mills postoffice a large flouring mill was erected, and a few 
stores opened, a shop or two started and a physician located there before 1879. 
Another large store was started at what was known as Orangeburg; also Dr. 
Williamson located at that point. There are no towns or villages within this 
township at this date. 


A former history of this township gives the following concerning the 
death of old Johnny Green, the noted Indian chief : 

"The last Indian killed in this part of the country was old Johnny Green. 
He was a bad Indian in fact. His own people would not let him associate 
with them. One day Henry Litzey and some more of the old settlers were at 


old John Beard's mill, at the mouth of Sugar creek, after flour; the old Indian 
also happened to visit the mill at that time and began boasting of the number 
of women and children he had killed. In place of going on the war path 
with the warriors, he used to skulk around the settlement and slaughter the 
defenseless females and infants and on this occasion was boasting of his 
exploits in that line, and telling with great glee how he used to impale the 
little innocents on saplings and laughed as he described how they would 
shriek and cross their little arms about. This aroused Mr. Litzey's manhood 
and he at once proceeded to inflict corporal punishment on the old heathen. 
The other men, however, interfered and the matter dropped. On his way 
home on horseback, Mr. Litzey heard the report of a gun and felt a bullet 
whistle past him; glancing behind, he observed the Indian, with a smoking 
rifle in his hand, peering from behind a tree. Being unarmed, he at once put 
spurs to his horse and rode at a lively gait for a mile or two, when, thinking 
he had gone out of the reach of danger, he again dropped into a walk. Again 
he heard the report of a rifle and again felt the wind from the bullet pass 
close by his head, and not being willing to run the risk of a third shot, pro- 
ceeded home as fast as possible and arrived in safety. On reaching the house 
he took his gun and went off on a hunt, and Johnny Green was never seen 
again in that part of the country. It was never known for certain who had 
put him out of the way, but public opinion always gave Mr. Litzev the credit 
of the act, though he would never acknowledge it, always stating that the last 
time he saw the Indian, he observed him sitting on a flat rock in Sugar creek, 
just below the Narrows, fishing; suddenly he jumped up as if crazy and dived 
into the water, from which he never arose." 



Union township constitutes all of township 15, range 6, hence is just six 
miles square. It is one of the eastern tiers of townships in Parke county, and 
is bounded on the north by Greene, on the west by Adams, on the south by 
Jackson, and on the east by Putnam county. The main streams that water 
and drain the township are the Big Raccoon, Troutman's run, Limestone 
branch of Raccoon, Rocky Fork and others of lesser importance. Bain's 
branch has its source in the east and flows west, uniting with the larger stream 
in section 10. For a third of a century and more it has been possible for all 
these streams to be crossed by footmen, except the Raccoon. In many 'places 
the beds of these streams are solid limestone rock. The current of these creeks 
and rivers is very rapid, owing to the great fall of the land through which they 
pass. The lime and sand rock along the rivers afiford excellent building stone. 
What is one of the curiosities of this county is the natural bridge on the west 
side of the creek at the old B. A. Martin place, where it spans a gully. It is 
solid stone, averaging twentj^-four inches through, having a span of fully 
forty feet, with a track of about twenty feet wide. One can walk erect 
under this bridge, and at one time it was much higher from floor to ceiling, 
the soil having washed in from above and filled it up below. 

In 191 2 the assessed valuation of all personal and real estate in this 
township was $358,630, and its population in 1910 was placed in the govern- 
ment census report at 948. 


At the Terre Haute land office John Martin purchased, in 1820, one-half 
of section 33, and then returned to his land after a year with his family. 
Before that, however, parties of hunters and fishers had visited these lonely 
forests, but not to locate. Mr. Martin came in with his wife and family of 
eleven children. They emigrated from North and South Carolina, in a four- 
horse wagon and a two-horse vehicle, the distance being six hundred miles, 
and were en route six weeks. The way was often so densely covered with 


timber and brush that an axman had to go ahead and prepare the way. Upon 
arriving the}^ proceeded to erect a rude log hut in which to find shelter for the 
time being. They built on a hillside, at the bottom of which was a fine spring 
of pure water. The Indian trail from Terre Haute through Mansfield and 
along the Big Raccoon to Cornstalk passed close by the place. This trail 
crossed and recrossed this creek in many places. The elder Martin was a 
blacksmith and gunsmith, besides being a farmer. The Indians passed up and 
down their trail and frequently camped on the Martin land near the pretty, 
swift-running creek. These consisted of the Delawares and Miamis, and 
they furnished the gunsmith Martin with plenty of repair work, for which 
they usually paid the cash. Mrs. Martin made clothes for the children out 
of buckskin, while they also had plenty of good venison for the table. Mr. 
Martin related how all the Indians would drink and get beastly drunk, except 
one who would always remain sober to take good care of the rest. They fre- 
quently c|uarreled badly among themselves, but never molested the whites 
and always paid for what they bought of them. There are three Indian 
graves on the Martin farm, but usually they buried their dead at Cornstalk. 
The older Martin continued his business until 1827, when he died and was 
biu'ied on his own land. He had served at the age of sixteen years as a sub- 
stitute under Washington in the Revolution: had experienced the hardships 
of war, so was well fitted for pioneer life here in the solitary wilds of Parke 
county. The family began to separate and divide the farm, and move and 
marry and raise families of their own. 

The same year in which Martin came in Thomas Wolverton, from Ohio, 
purchased land in sections 29 and 30. They came after the Blakes and stayed 
at Blake's while he cleared up a patch of land and erected a cabin. \Volverton 
then went to Virginia, stayed five years, and returned, built, dug a well, and 
made other improvements. He then went to Ohio. Wolverton died in 1848, 
leaving a wife and family. In 1821 John Miller entered land in sections 29 
and 30. He began his farming, after having built a comfortable cabin. The 
same year William Sutherlin arrived from Virginia and bought land in both 
Putnam and Parke counties for his sons. In 1822 he moved his family, wife 
and nine children, and he settled near the eastern line of this township. Isaac 
Norman helped to survey this county in 1820, and selected his lands, but did 
not settle for some years afterward. John Duncan entered land in 1822 or 
1823, and Thomas Carmichael came about that date. In 1822 came the 
Troutmans, Stephenses and Kays. A little later came the Jameses and Na- 
than Plunket, as well as Lemuel Norman, who lived on the Big Raccoon. In 
1823 Thomas C. Burton entered land in New Discovery, east and northeast 


of Bellemore. Other early settlers were John Blake and his large family, 
John McGilvery, John Noble, Robert Broaddus and Samuel Harlan. All of 
these arrived prior to 1830. Those coming in between 1830 and 1840 included 
John Collins, John and William Bulion, the Akers and Mershons and Cyrus 


At first the settlers had to carry their grain to mill on horseback to 
Dixon's mill, and a little later to Portland. The Noble mills were built in 
1829 on the Big Raccoon, south of present Hollandsburg. John McGilvery 
hauled the mill-stones from Vigo county. Soon after this the Springfield 
mills were built. These mills did the sawing and grinding for many years 
after the first settlers came in. 

As the township was settled up more there came a natural demand for 
mechanics, the first, of course, being blacksmiths. About 1830 William 
Aydelotte settled on the present site of Bellemore, or rather a half mile to 
the north. There he started a blacksmith shop, doing the work for a large 
scope of country. This was the first shop in New Discovery, but Martin's 
must have been the first shop in the township. In those days a round rod of 
iron was seldom seen in these parts, so Aydelotte kept a forge and he and his 
boys forged their own iron. William Alexander probably had the first inn or 
tavern, and this was the germ, so to speak, of Bellemore village. A few 
more cabins were put in around the Guisinger shops, and John Bulion, Sr., 
having come from the East, suggested that the cluster north of the State 
road be called Northampton, after the city of this name in Massachusetts, 
and that south of the road be called Southampton. The shop at the latter 
place was soon abandoned, so the town was known as Northampton. John 
Aydelotte built a blacksmith shop, and John M. Turner rented the back room 
for a wagon shop. In 1856 Turner built his wagon shop, the first in the 
township, and there did a thriving business. About 1839 William Thornton 
built the first store room, what came to be known as Bellemore. In 1850 
Isaac Wimmer bought from Alexander his property, and in 1853 sold to 
Moore and Snow, and they put up a steam flouring-mill and a saw-mill, put 
up a store building and each a dwelling. The hamlet began to be a center 
for trade, and the people demanding a postofiice, they petitioned to have one 
established and suggested the name be Northampton, but while the depart- 
ment granted the office, it found it impracticable to call it Northampton, as 
Indiana already had such a postoffice, hence it was named Bellemore, which 
derived its name as follows: Mr. Moore, then a resident of the place, had 


some daughters whom General Steele, a guest of Moore, very much admired. 
The General one day said to his host, "This town ought to be called Bellemore 
(Belle-Moore) in honor of your daughters;" hence the origin. 

The second town in this township was Hollandsburg, on section 9. In 
1855, or about that year, John Collings built a hewed-log house on the spot, 
and Abraham Collings built a store sixteen by twenty feet, and there sold 
goods, carrying about a four-hundred-dollar stock. Thus was started the 
village. The Collings gave it the name it bears, in honor of a Baptist min- 
ister in Kentucky whose name was Holland. About i860, John McGilvery 
built a large house for a residence — the best in the place. In 1859 the Baptist 
church was built. The first postmaster was L. D. McGilvery. Neither Hol- 
landsburg or Bellemore were ever incorporated, but remain small trading 
places. Union township. has no railroad facilities, and most of the grain is 
hauled to Rockville and other shipping places. 

The roads of this section are extremely hilly, owing to the lay of the 
country, and in an early day it was almost impossible to get in and out of the 
township. But as time went on roads were finally provided at mucii expense 
and hard labor. 

The cemeteries of this township are mostly of the "family burying- 
ground" character, each early family choosing to bury their departed dead as 
near the spot where they lived and labored as possible. Among the well- 
known burial places are the Blake graveyard, the Martin graveyard, the 
Nobles and Kelley, the Colemans, Harneys, and Coopers. 

The schools and-churches of this township have been noticed in the gen- 
eral chapters in this work. 



This sub-division of Parke county is on the western border, and is south 
of Reserve, west of Adams, north of Florida township, and is bounded on 
the west by the Wabash river, which is the dividing Hne between this county 
and Vermillion county. Along the river, and in places running back a con- 
siderable distance, are the Wabash bottoms, which are considered the richest 
land in the state, although up the river at the northwest corner of the town- 
ship the land is higher, but not broken, and is therefore the most valuable of 
any in this part of Parke county. The middle and northeast part of the town- 
ship is quite hilly, the bluffs in places rising abruptly to a considerable height. 
These hills are to quite an extent underlaid with coal; a fair quality of build- 
ing stone is also found in places, and iron exists upon Iron creek in the north- 
east part of the township. Raccoon creek, the chief stream in the township, 
enters from the south and runs northward some little more than half way 
through the township, then turns west, running almost directly to the river. 
On this stream Abner Cox built the first mill Of any note in this part of the 
county. To it came the pioneers, some in row boats, some with carts and 
oxen and some from other parts came with grists on horseback, winding their 
way over hills and through the heavy timber, then scarcely broken by the 
sturdy settler's axe. This mill was built near Armiesburg. After the mill 
came other milling improvements, to grind out whisky from rye and corn, 
making a home market for farmer's produce. One writer in 1879 said: "It 
was discovered that a 'worm' in this still house was more venomous than any 
reptile ever found in Parke county." In 1830, Patterson, Silliman & Com- 
pany started a store here, where pork could be sold at a dollar and fifty cents 
per hundred, salt could be purchased at seven dollars per barrel, and calico 
from thirty-five to forty cents per yard. 

Some of the first settlers hauled wheat to Chicago, Louisville, and Cin- 
cinnati Ohio, and sold it for fifty cents per bushel and hauled back mer- 


Among the early settlers may be recalled Isaac Ghormly and family. 
Daniel James and Aquilla Justis, Lucius Kebby and family, Aquilla Punten- 


ney, ]Mark and Thomas Cooke, William Hixon, Azariah Brown, James and 
Aquilla Laverty. Alany of these pioneers have descendants in the township 

At the time the early settlers came, the Indians were quite numerous. In 
this township was one section of land given by the state to Christmas Dazney, 
spoken of elsewhere in this volume. The Indians w-ere peaceable, but idle and 

In 1832 the ;\Iecca saw-mill was built by Alexander McCune and Samuel 
Lowry. In 1833 ^ factory for wool carding and a year later a fulling mill 
w-ere added to the place and in 1855 these gentlemen built a large custom mill. 
In 1873 a good bridge was built over the creek at this place, protected from 
the weather by a shingle roof. This place is about two miles up the creek 
from Armiesburg. The latter place derived its name from the fact that it is 
on the place where General Harrison crossed the Raccoon creek, and camped 
W'ith his army, while en route to the famous battle ground of Tippecanoe in 
this state. 

In 1912 the assessed valuation of personal and real estate property in 
this township was $787,555. Its population in 1910 was 1,955. The churches 
and schools are mentioned under general chapter heads. ^lany of the early 
settlers buried their dead in the most convenient places, generally near their 
own homes, and for long years the plow and harvester have gone ruthlessly 
over the spot where lie their remains. Since 1840, however, more care has 
been taken to protect the burial places within the township. About 1836 
Leatherwood bulging ground was staked off and in 1849 was deeded by 
Isaac Silliman to the trustees of the society of the United Brethren. About 
forty years ago, William Hixon deeded to the trustees a piece of land in sec- 
tion 19, township 15, for a place to bury the dead. Other places were later 

The first school house in the township was erected in 1834, by A. Mc- 
Cune, three- fourths of a mile from Mecca, to the southeast. 

Flat-boat building was one of the early-day industries in this township. 
Many of the pioneers made trips to New Orleans by these boats, ]\Ir. AlcCune 
having made thirty-five trips to the gulf in this manner. 

A local w-riter mentions the "never-built" railroads in A\'abash town- 
ship in the following strain : 

"If any township in Parke county, more than another, can boast of her 
unfinished railroads it is Wabash. In 1873 Mr. Young, of Chicago, started 
the Indiana division of the Chicago, Danville & \'incennes railroad. It was 
graded about half way through the township, from the south side, running 


through the Raccoon bottoms. The truss bridges were also erected. In 
1854 the lUinois Central and Indiana Central surveyed a line through the 
north part of Wabash township, but never built the road. In 1874 a compan)- 
formed to build the Spring'field road. This line passed over the old survey. 
On October 15, 1875, the contract was let to build and own the road from 
Montezuma to Indianapolis, via Rockville. The grading was begun in the 
fall of 1875, and in the winter of 1876 they failed and the road was aban- 
doned. Thus the fond hopes of the Wabash people as well as those of Rock- 
ville, perished and, like the morning dew, flitted away and the prospective, 
like the canal, are 'hopes deferred.' " 

But later the township was blessed with a line of railroad known as the 
Chicago & Eastern Illinois, which enters the county in Liberty twonship and 
traverses the townships of Liberty, Reserve, Wabash, Florida, forming junc- 
tion with the Vandalia at Rosedale, with a station point in Wabash township, 
at Mecca, on sections 19 and 30. This was constructed in the eighties and is 
a paying railroad proposition and has been the means of bringing into exist- 
ence the sprightly town of Mecca, which was platted on section 20, to\\nship 
15, range 8, August 7, 1890, by Samuel L. McCune. Other plattings were 
made later. The place now has a population of about one thousand four 
hundred and is supplied with all that goes toward making up a modern built 
town of its size. Its churches and schools and other interests are noted 
throughout other chapters, in a general way with other towns. Being one of 
the new towns of the count}', its early histor}- is not so important, but the 
early settlement of Wabash township gives the pioneer liistnry of that portion 
of the county. 

It may be added that the old Wabash & Erie canal runs from north to 
south, through Wabash township, and in its day was looked upon as a great 
thoroughfare. Traces of the canal are to be seen at many places along the 
western part of Parke county, including the town of Montezuma and Reserx-e 
and Wabash townships. 

At Mecca there is now in operation an extensive plant for the making of 
drain tile, by William Dee, who is the great Chicago tile manufacturer through 
this section of Indiana, with several plants for brick and tile. 



Washington township is a central sub-cli\-ision of Parke county. It has 
a population, as noted by the last federal census, of 1,481. Its assessed valua- 
tion, both real and personal property, in 19 12, is $907,760. This township 
comprises part of township 15 and township 16, ranges 6 and 7, and contains 
thirty-six sections of rich, beautiful land, with extensive coal-bearing lands 
and mines, the latter for year having been its greatest source of revenue. The 
old-time log cabins that once dotted this section have been displaced and mod- 
ern farm houses of rare excellence and attractiveness now adorn the entire 
township. Several never-failing streams of the finest, purest water course 
through this township. Among these may be named Roaring creek. Leather- 
wood, Sand and Williams creeks, whose waters find their way into the little 

In 1872 the Terre Haute & Logansport railroad was constructed across 
the comer of this township, and a station point established on section 24, 
which was later named Judson. On section 33 is Nyesville, built up on the 
coal mining interests of that neighborhood, it ha\-ing a branch line extending 
to the mines. 


The first white man to invade and claim land within Washington town- 
ship, as now defined, was Alexander Buchanan, who arrived in 1821, locating 
on section 24, near Little Raccoon creek. When he came this was all a forest 
land and indeed wild in all that could be mentioned. His only neighbors were 
the Indians, they being of the Delawares, Miamis and Pottawatomie tribes, 
whose villages and burying grounds were then numerous in this township. 
The next settler was David Bruen, who located at the point later known as 
Bruen's cross-roads, where the first postoffice was established, with Mr. Bruen 
as postmaster. In the autumn of 1822 there were twelve families in this set- 
tlement. These were the Buchanans, Bruens, David Todd, Ambrose Lambert, 
Charles Abbott, his mother and brother, two families named Harlan, a Dutch 
family named Shmok, and the families of McMillan and Garrison, the two 


later having settled over the line in Adams township. The following year 
came Fleming and James Long, and soon came the McMurtie family. Then 
the numljer which came in was too large to here trace or enumerate. 

In the Roaring Creek or Poplar Grove settlement, in the north end of 
the township, the first to arrive was John Maris, in the fall of 1826. He 
settled on the southeast quarter of section 5, on the old Indian trail. He cleared 
ten acres of land and the next year raised a crop of corn for bread purposes 
and feed. He obtained his seed corn from the Cook family, in the settlement 
to the west of him, paying ten cents a bushel for the seed. Next came in 
Joshua Newlin, his son John and daughter Sarah and her husband, James 
Underwood, they being newly married, but had never tried the perplexities 
of married life in a new country. They reached this township in the fall of 
1827 and located on the northeast of section 4, at once building a shed, in 
which they lived for three weeks, at the end of which time they had their 
cabin erected, save the stick-and-clay chimney, which soon followed. The 
following winter was occupied at chopping and logging, clearing away for a 
patch on which to sow and plant. In the meantime they had to live chiefly on 
corn bread and mush and milk. Corn was still ten cents, but money was 
hard to get hold of. They brought seeds with them and planted some peach 
seed, and in three years had plenty of fine fruit from this early planting. An 
a])ple orchard was also planted from which they had an abundance of good 
apples within seven years. His son John settled on section 4, and at once 
cleared away five acres, settling on the same in the spring of 1828. The son- 
in-law, Underwood, settled on section 3 and went to housekeeping. The 
next to come was Nathan Hockett, in the spring of 1828, who went to work 
on land he purchased in section 4. He owned the first cow in the settlement, 
having brought her from North Carolina when he came. The next fall came 
William and Jesse Hobson, locating on section 9. In 1829, in the autumn 
time, came the Teaghe family, their location being on section 8. Others who 
soon swelled the number in the little colony were Aaron Rawlings. Aaron D. 
Hufif, Gabriel Wilson, Eli Bundy, Jonathan Trublood and family, W. Hill, 
Elias Trublood, Jesse Yemp, David Newlin, Joshua and John Engle, and the 
McCampbell family. 

The first school was erected on what was known as the "lost 
quarter," a strip of territory on section 26. It was there that a school was 
taught by John McBride, an Irishman. In 1833 the first school in Roaring 
Creek settlement was taught. The Presbyterians built tlie first meeting house 
in this townsiiip in 1823. Early ser\-ices were held l)y the Methodist Epis- 


copal people, under Rev. Cra^•ens, who styled himself, "The Almighty's Biill- 
ilog." See church chapter elsewhere; also educational chapter for schools. 

Among the first deaths in the settlement above mentioned was the drown- 
ing of Samuel Teaghe, July 4, 1834. 

Roseville mills pro\-ided the first milling facilities this township had. In 
J 825 Samuel Steele built his Portland mill, in Greene township, and soon 
there were a number of mills erected in near-by districts. 

.\t Nyesville, noted above, in 1880 there were extensive coal mining 
operations opened up, on sections 33 and 34. These mines were opened and 
worked by the Parke County Coal Mining Company, and this has been the 
means of supporting a good little mining village ever since. The United 
States census of 1910 gave the population as ninety-five, which fluctuates with 
the number of miners employed at various times. 

The village of Judson, a place having less than two hundred inhabitants, 
in 1910. is situated on section 24, of this township, and was platted by Alex- 
ander Buchanan, May 4, 1872. The railroad was completed that year, and 
the first store was opened by Glover & Milligan, who were followed very 
speedily by many more business concerns. Presbyterian and Methodist 
churches were soon organized and houses provided in which to worship. A 
Masonic lodge was formed in 1874, and an Odd Fellows lodge in the same 





The word "vermillion" is from the French, signifying "a Ijright red sul- 
phuret of mercury," and is appHed to this territory and the stream by that 
name, on account of the red or brown color of the earth and the abundance 
of "keel," or '"red-chalk," found along the banks of the river now called 
Vermillion. It is believed that this substance was formed by the burning of 
the overlying shale, the outcrops of the coal, the latter igniting from the 
autumn fires set by the people then inhabiting this region. The river was first 
named, then the county. 

Geographically, Vermillion county is thirty-nine degrees and fifty-five 
minutes north, and eighty-seven degrees and ten minutes west longitude from 
Greenwich, England. The standard railroad time, which is conformed to the 
ninetieth meridian, is about eleven minutes slower than local sun-time. New- 
port, the county seat, is five hundred and twenty feet above sea-level, and fifty- 
five feet above the low water mark of the Wabash river opposite. 

The beautiful Wabash river, with its charming scenery, is equal in that 
respect to almost any other stream in the West. Its silvery ripples are seen 
here and there midst luxurious foliage of splendid forest kings, while long 
ranges of hills add further beauty and sublimity to the scene which is ever a 
feast to the eye of the beholder. The more than thirty-seven miles of river 
front presented within this county, is wholly made up of attractive natural 
scenery, making the territory one of the "loveliest valleys in the West." The 
Wabash and its tributaries completely drain and water the county of which 
this volume is a history. Spring branch, really a large creek, flows south- 
westerly through the northeast corner of Highland township. Coal branch 
flows south near the Avestern border. Big Vermillion river winds in graceful 
curves through the southwestern corner of Highland township and also 
through the northern part of Eugene township. Little Vermillion ri\er winds 


through the southwestern corner of Eugene township, emptying into the 
Wabash near the middle of the eastern side of VermilHon township. Jonathan 
creek, in the western portion of VermilHon township, flows northeasterly into 
Little Vermillion. Brouillet's (pronounced Brulet's creek) is wholly within 
Clinton township, coursing its way southeasterly, forming confluence with 
the Wabash river. Little Raccoon creek, in Helt township, runs to the south- 
east, in the northeastern portion of the township, falling into the Wabash be- 
tween Highland and Alta. 


Almost one-third of the territory embraced within Vermillion county con- 
sists of rich, fertile and valuable bottom lands of the great and historic Wabash 
river together with its affluents. Big and Little Vermillion rivers and Norton's 
creek. The main terrace of the "second bottom." is finely developed in the 
region of Perrysville and Newport. This terrace is from one to four miles 
wide, giving an extended stretch of rich, well drained farming lands, with an 
average elevation of about forty feet above the first bottom. Below the town 
of Newport the bluffs reach the river so nearly that the terrace is nearly 
obliterated, and the immediate bottoms are hence very narrow. At the mouth 
of Little Raccoon creek the bottom lands are extended wider, but there is no 
large amount of terrace land until the head of Helt prairie is reached, at a point 
six miles to the north of the city of Clinton, where it stretches to the s6uth- 
ward and is from one to three miles in width. Again three miles below 
Clinton it narrows down at the mouth of Brouillet's and the county line. 

When Vermillion county was first settled by white men the bottoms were 
heavily timbered, but a large part of the terrace was devoid of timber. It is 
hardly probal^le that this land was originally prairie, on account of its nature 
and favorable situation, hence it is supposed that this land was cleared and 
cultivated by the same race of people, possibly the much-talked-of, and but 
little understood, Mound Builders. The "mounds" are to be seen all through 
this region, and it is thought that the annual fires prevented a re-occupation 
by trees and shrubs. 

Rising from the upper bottom lands bluft's are seen, more or less abrupt, 
which attain a general level of from one hundred and twenty to one hundred 
and thirty feet above the river bed, forming the somewhat elevated border 
lands of Grand prairie. The most gradual ascent is to the westward from 
Perrysville, which provide a natural roadway for the railroad now traversing- 
this portion of the county. South of the Big Vermillion river the bluffs are 


much Steeper. These bluffs are too steep for practical cultivation, and timber 
is still found growing, including oak. hickory, maple and walnut, and. in the 
south part of the county, beech. Thirty years ago and less there were found 
large groves of maple of the sugar variety. From the chief streams this tim- 
bered region extends to the westward to the state line. The northern and 
middle portions of the county are in great part a portion of what is known as 
the Grand prairie, which covers all eastern Illinois, from the forests of the Lit- 
tle Wabash to Lake Michigan. 

Vermillion county is blessed with springs, bursting forth from below the 
bowlder clay of the drift period. Many of these springs are exceedingly 
strong in their flow, but with the settlement of the county, artificial drainage, 
etc., have somewhat diminished. 

The alluvium of the river bottoms ba\e the common features of all river 
deposits. Vegetable remains are mingled with fine sand and mud washed 
from the drift-beds up the streams, and occasional deposits of small stones 
and gravel, derived either from the drift or from rock formations through 
which these rivers have cut their way. The only positive information con- 
cerning the depths of these beds refers to the prairies between Eugene and 
Perrysville, where wells have been sunk sixty feet through alluvia sand, and 
then encountered six to ten feet of sticky, bluish mud filled with leaves, twigs 
and trunks of trees, and occasionally small masses of what appears to have 
been stable manure. This stratum is sometimes called "Noah's Barnyard." 
The lake-bottom deposits, of a corresponding age, which commonly underlie 
the soil of the Grand prairie, have been found west of the state line, consisting 
of marly-clays and brick-clay subsoil, and probably exist equally under such 
portions of the prairie as extend into Vermillion county. 

There are numerous fine gravel beds in the county, principally developed 
since the construction of railroads. The bowlder clay mentioned above, 
which substance forms the mass of drift formation, is a tough, bluish drab, 
unlaminated clay, more or less thoroughly filled with fine and coarse gravel, 
and includes many small bowlders. On the high bluff, to the west of Perrys- 
ville. this bed was penetrated to a depth of about one hundred feet before 
reaching the water-bearing quicksand commonly found beneath it. Outcrojis 
of one hundred and ten feet have been measured. This is much thinner in 
the southern part of Vermillion county. In-om the difference in character of 
the included bowlders at different le\'els, it is supposed by geologists that the 
currents which brought the materials composing these beds flowed in different 
directions at different times. 

As an example of the above descriptions, said a writer on this subject 


twenty-five years ago: "A section from a branch of Jonathan's creek, in 
Eugene township, where bowlder clay, with pebbles of Silurian limestone and 
trap, thirty feet; yellow clay, with fragments of coal, shale, sand-stone, etc., 
four inches; bowlder clay, with pebbles of Silurian limestone, twenty-five 
feet; ferruginous sand, a streak; bowlder clay from the northwest, with peb- 
bles of various metamorphic rocks and trap, and nuggets of native copper, fifty 

The section of rocks exposed at the horseshoe of the Little Vermillion 
exhibits the following strata : Black, slaty shale ; coal, two and a half to four 
feet thick; fire-clay and soft shales, with iron-stones, fifteen feet; argillaceous 
(clayey) limestone, one to two feet; dark drab clay shale, one foot; coal, four 
to five feet ; light colored fire-clay, two feet ; dark colored fire-clay, one foot ; 
soft, drab shale, with iron-stones, ten to fifteen feet ; fossiliferous, black slaty 
shale, often pyritous, with many large iron-stone nodules, two to three feet. 

A considerable portion of the bowlders and pebbles of these beds, espe- 
cially those consisting of limestone and the metamorphic rocks, are finely 
polished and striated on one or more of their sides, showing the power of the 
forces which were engaged in their transportation from their original beds. 
Nuggets of galena (lead) and of native copper are occasionally met with, and 
have had the usual effect of exciting the imagination of those ignorant of the 
fact that the rocks which contain these metals do not occur nearer than tlie 
galena region of northern Illinois. 

The only rock formation in the county, practically speaking, is that of the 
"coal measure" already mentioned. The first uppermost vein of coal is cov- 
ered by a few feet of soil only. The limerock below it is very thinly lamin- 
ated, being mingled with much clay; but the shales covering the next vein con- 
stitute a fair working roof. 

The sand iron-stones are interesting to the hunter of fossils, as they con- 
tain numerous fragmentary remains of fishes, insects, etc. This fossil dis- 
trict extends along the Little A'ermillion to its mouth and down the Wabash. 
Outcrops of this strata are found along the chief streams throughout the entire 
county of Vermillion. 

In going up stream along the Big Vermillion river, on its south bank, a 
mile below Eugene, a bluff twenty to thirty feet high is of irregularly bedded, 
highly ferruginous, coarse grained sand-stone, often containing plant remains, 
with some large fragments of trees, etc. Some of tliese beds are sufficiently 
solid to make good building stones. In quarrying them many fine trunks have 
been found and the larger branches of leipodendron and sigillaria. 

' Wells sunk below Perrysville, below the limestone rock, ninety feet, have 


exposed no traces of coal, but coal is found at no great distance, owing to the 
sudden dips in the geological strata. In general terms, it may be said that 
most all of Vermillion count)- is underlaid with a good quality of soft coal. 
A total estimate of eight feet would probably cover the thickness of coal 
underneath this county — a wonderful mine of wealth for generations yet un- 
born ! The chapter on IVIines and Mining in this work will treat the vast coal 
mining interests. 

The principal iron ore found within Vermillion count}' is an impure car- 
bonate, occurring in nodules and irregular layers of sands. Once, these were 
shipped to a furnace at Brouillet's Creek, where they yielded thirty-three per 
cent, of iron ore. The ore here averages from twenty to thirty per cent. 
Along the Norton creek bottoms, near the head of Kelt's prairies, a bed of 
bog-iron, about three feet thick and extending over an area of about eight 
acres, has been discovered in the last thirty years. Zinc blende is also found 
in small quantities. Its appearance, at an early day, on the Little Vermillion 
river, gave rise to the so-called "silver mine." 

The second bottoms, or terraces in Vermillion county, in order from the 
north are named Walnut Mound, Eugene or Sand, Newport and Helt's. The 
soil is a black sandy loam, producing the richest and most paying crops. These 
terraces comprise about three-tenths of the entire county, and are from thirty- 
five to sixty-five feet above low-water mark, while the higher portions of the 
county are from two hundred and fifty to t\\ o hundred and seventy feet abo\-e 

Professor Collett, in his t88o report, says: "Remains of the mammoth 
have been discovered in nearly all sections of Indiana. They have consisted, 
as a rule, of the most compact bones of these animals, as the teeth, tusks, jaws 
and thigh bones. Some of the best preser\'ed teeth of the mammoth were 
found in the counties of Vigo, Parke, ^''ermillion, Wayne, Putnam and A'an- 


Eighty-five per cent, of the area of Indiana was originally heavily for- 
ested. The prairie district occupied a small portion of the northwestern part 
of the state. In this part the timber was confined principally to the low lands. 
In all parts of the state the timber has been cut for lumber and to clear the 
farm land, until now only twenty per cent, of the original forest, seventeen 
per cent, of the total area of the state, remains. The cutting off of the forests 
of the state has had a great influence on the drainage. When the forests were 
still intact, the fallen leaves, mold and shade tended to retain the surplus water 


during the rajny seasons, and this water, given out gradual!}', tended to 
equalize the stream flow. Floods were less common then. Now the sys- 
tematic drainage of the land causes the water, during the rainy seasons, to flow 
directly into the stream. Thus the streams are flooded during the wet weather 
and soon dry up after the rains cease. This condition is especially true of 
the portion of the state south of the Wisconsin glacial boundary. In the Wis- 
consin glacial area the sand and gravel deposits serve to some extent the same 
purpose as the leaves, mold and shade of the previously forested area of the 
unglaciated region. The effect of the removal of the forests is shown by the 
remains of old water-mill sites, on small streams which are now dry for more 
than half the year. Many of these small power mills were run continuously 
fifty years ago. These power sites are now impractical except where im- 
mense storage basins can be constructed. Charles R. Van Hise in the United 
States government reports on Conservation, says : "It is estimated by McGee 
that, by injudicious farming and deforestation, the water table has been low- 
ered in the eastern part of the United States by from ten to forty feet. In- 
deed he estimates that the shallow wells and springs in this part of the country, 
at least three-fourths, have failed. The springs have dried up; the small 
brooks'have ceased to flow ; the wells have been sunk to lower levels. 

"In this matter we have an exceptional situation with reference to water 
which is somewhat analogous to that of minerals. We are using the supplies 
of the past and not restoring an equal amount. This we are doing to some 
extent because of our present need; but also more wells are drilled in many 
artesian districts than are necessary ; and when they are not in use, which is 
often the larger part of the year, the water from them is allowed to run off 
freely. Usually it is not realized that such waste lessens the head and makes 
available a smaller amount of water when it is again needed. This waste of 
underground water is analogous to the waste of natural gas. Strange as it 
may appear, waste of this kind is allowed to continue not only in humid 
regions where water is not appreciated, but in arid regions where it is of such 
fundamental importance. Such waste should be prohibited by law and the law 
should provide means of enforcement. 

"Already strict laws exist in a number of states of the West; this is il- 
lustrated by California. It is clear that laws preventing the waste of water 
are constitutional upon substantially the same grounds as are the laws with 
reference to the waste of natural gas. This is clearly indicated by decisions 
which have been rendered in the various courts. 

"It is important to get into the ground a suflicient amount of water, so 
that the water table will be maintained at a convenient depth. This is es- 


pecially important in the arid and semi-arid regions, for there often the under- 
ground water is the only certain source of this element for domestic purposes 
and for irrigation. 

"On a much wider scale increasing the proportion of precipitation which 
goes under ground, may be accomplished by covering the earth with vegeta- 
tion, by contour plowing, and by cultivating in such a manner as to leave a 
rough surface." 

The whcile of this question simply shows the opinion of an expert upon 
the subject of the conservation of water. The last paragraph is applicable to 
Indiana and to Vermillion and Parke counties. It is indeed astonishing to 
notice the poor grade of farming carried on in man}^ parts of this state. Fields 
are left absolutely bare for a whole summer and for many years. Such fields 
not only drain off most of the water which falls upon them, but the hard 
crust causes the evaporation of the underground water to be much greater. 
Upon such fields even a rank growth of weeds is a blessing, except for the 
seeds which they produce. One of the secrets of successful farming in this 
state is the power of the farmer to properly handle the ground water under his 
land. When every farmer understands the secret of conserving ground water 
and puts the knowledge to practical use, the dry well and intermittent spring 
problems will be greatly lessened and the facilities for water-power will be 
somewhat increased. 

Then, from all that has been observed, it will pay to save the remaining 
forests and conserve the water, both upon and underneath the fertile soil of 

"That old familiar tree, 

Whose glory and renown 
Are spread o'er land and sea — 

And woulds't thou hew it down.' 
Woodman forbear thy stroke! 

Cut not its earth-bound ties ; 
Oh, spare that aged oak 

Now towering to the skies !" 


The entire coal measure of this and adjoining counties is underlaid with 
a very superior grade of clay, including that suitable for pottery and fire- 
brick. White settlers first began to use this clay in this portion of the state, 
for making "stone-ware." By 1840 this had grown to be a large industry. It 


then went down largely and by 1853 but little was made use of. Efforts were 
made then to utilize the shales and clays again. At Hillsdale and at Monte- 
zuma, Parke county, several plants were erected for making fire-clay goods 
for refractory purposes, in the construction of furnaces, crucibles, flues and 
generally where heat resistance is sought. At Montezuma, too, a clay roofing 
tile factory was operated. In 1890 the clay industry again took on new life, 
and four large plants at and near Montzuma and one at Clinton were estab- 
lished. The business up and down the Wabash, in these two counties, is now 
larsjelv interested in tile. 



Perliaps no better, reliable account of the Mound Builders and Indians 
who lived, labored and died within the domain now known as Vermillion 
county can be given, at this date, than that prepared from facts compiled by 
that student and correct writer, Hon. John Collett. hence the following de- 
scriptions of those who inhabited the country prior to the coming of the white 
race, should be credited largely to him. and as he was the state geologist and 
in a position to know whereof he wrote, it will be taken as nearly true as 
mortal man can now hope to arrive at conclusions drawn b\- him and made a 
part of the state's record. 

When first explored by the white race, this county was occupied by sa\age 
Indians, without fixed habitation, averse to labor and delighting only in w ar 
and the chase. Their misty traditions did not reach back to any pre\-ious 
people or age, but numerous earth-works are' found in this region of such ex- 
tent as to require for their construction much time and the persistent labor of 
many people. Situated on river bluffs, their location combines picturesifue 
scenery, adaptability for defense, convenience for transportation l^y water, and 
productive lands. These are not requisites in the nomadic life of red-men, and 
identify the Mound Builders as a partially civilized people. Their mounds 
and other works are of such extent that it required years of labor, with basket 
and shovel, to erect such coordination of labor as to indicate the rule of priest- 
ly government or regal authority: they were certainl}' to that extent civilized. 
Their work in its vastness shows that governments were necessary, which 
must have had civil power to request and require the necessary labor. The 
implements found in the graves, mounds and tombs were more often domestic 
and agricultural, and indicate a peaceful, obedient race. Their temples were 
defended by bulwarks of loving hearts rather than by warrior braves. Many 
of the religious emblems and articles of utility made of stone point back to the 
earliest forms of sentiment represented by the fire and sun worshipers of cen- 
tral Asia and give a clue to the reason w^hy their favorite habitations and 
mounds were as a rule never placed beneath the eastern bluffs of streams, but 
on the other hand were so located in ele\-ated positions, or on the western 


bluffs, that when the timber was cleared away and the lands reduced to culti- 
vation, a long outlook was given to the east and to the sun rise, from which 
direction their expected Messiah, or ruler, was to come. Similar customs still 
prevail in Mexico. 

Traditions intimate that the tribes were driven southward, from the north- 
ern portion of the continent, and these traditions are corroborated by the dis- 
covery of relics in this region made from material found far to the north. 

Clusters of mounds are found in Vemiillion county, on Mound prairie, 
near the Shelby battle ground and nearly all along the track between Eugene 
and Newport, many of them from twenty to forty feet in diameter, four, five 
or six feet high, and the clusters containing from ten to eighty mounds. One 
memorable mound is situated in the northern part of the city of Clinton, from 
which earth was removed for road building about 1830. In it were found 
stone implements of the Mound Builders accompanied with copper beads, fi\e 
copper rods, half an inch in diameter and eighteen inches long, showing that 
it was one of the earliest of the Mound Builders works, while they were also 
accompanied with other implements imported from the north. 

Another, on the Head farm, near Newport, had copper rods, or spear- 
heads and smaller stone implements. These were probably burial grounds. 
A majority of them contained no relics, but were simply abandoned mounds 
of habitation. Mr. Pigeon, in his volume called "Dacoudah," says he no- 
ticed figured mounds of men and beasts on the south bank of the Little Ver- 
million, three or four miles from its mouth. A burial mound, near the north- 
east corner, contained a chief in a sitting position, in the center. Radiating 
from his body, like the spokes of a wheel, were five persons, slaves or wives, 
to wait upon him in the other world. His useful implements for the other 
world were a great number of copper beads from a half inch to an inch and a 
quarter in diameter, seven copper axes, one of which contained unmelted A'ir- 
gin silver, as it occurs at Lake Superior, varying in weight from two to eight 
pounds, and seven copper rods (spear heads), with pots and crocks, contain- 
ing black mold, as if it were food. The streams near their homes afforded fish 
for food, and the implements found indicated that they were skilled in hand- 
ling fish spears and gigs. The soil surrounding their homes was always the 
choicest, with the addition of beautiful and engaging scenerw The relics 
found in their mounds show that in their more northern home, in Wisconsin, 
Minnesota and Michigan, the common northern material, the striped slate and 
copper, was abundant. In Vermillion county relics of this character were 
scarce and precious, if not holy. At more southern points, striped slate im- 
plements of northern stone are very rare, while the precious copper could no 


longer be used in implement making, but was beaten into the iinest of sheets 
and bent over ornamental pendants. All these, and the customs of their bur- 
ial, indicate an Asiatic origin, and prove conclusively that in their migration 
to this region they passed b}' more northern regions, including Lake Superior. 

Afterwards the northern barbarian came, of an intermediate race, between 
the Mound Builder and the red man. The Mound Builders were driven away 
by this irruption, their property seized, many of their wives made captives and 
adopted by the new people. Many of the customs of the old people conse- 
quently remained with the newcomers, and the latter also deposited their dead 
in the old mounds over the remains of the more ancient people. The number 
of individuals thus found buried together, number from hve to two or three 
thousand. Their graves and relics from the tombs are the onh' story of their 
lives. Throughout all these a deep spirit of religious devotion is indicated, as 
well as the belief in the existence of another world and that implements of a 
domestic nature were necessary to the comfort of the departed. 

On the Moore farm, three miles northwest of Eugene, Mr. Zeke Sheward. 
in making an underground "dug-out"' for the storing of vegetables, on a small 
mound surrounded by giants of the original forest, found at the depth of three 
feet, and at least one foot below the surface of the surrounding soil some 
pieces of metal about the size of a teaspoon handle, and one coin. On analysis 
they were found to be made of lead, antimony, and tin. The coin had in relief 
easily identified figures, of a worshiped crocodile of Egypt, or a hoh" water 
dog of America, and wood characters, much resembling those of China, or 
Hindostan. Prof. W. D. Whitney, of Yale College, one of the most thorough 
linguists of America, believed the characters to be Arabic, but of so ancient a 
(late that the Oriental Society was unable to read them. The director of the 
British Museum, in London, determined them to be ancient Hindostanee, but 
of so early a date no scholar in England could read them. Trees, and their 
remains, indicate an age of more than two thousand years. 

In March, 1880, while a companv of gravel road workers were excavating 
gravel from the bank on the ridge at the southwest corner of the Newport 
fair ground, five human skeletons were found, supposed to be the remains of 
Indians buried at that point at an early day. In the gravel bank along the 
railroad, at the southeast corner of the fair ground, another skeleton was 
found. No implements of war were found with the bones, but ashes were per- 
ceivable, which would indicate that they were the remains of Indians. After 
burying the dead it was their custom in some parts of the country to build a 
fire over the corpse. !\Iany of the skeletons thus discovered, as well as a large 
portion of the bones of the lower animals, on exposure to the air, crumble 


away so easily that it becomes impossible to preserve them for exhibition. 
A collection of a dozen skeletons shows by measurements of the thigh- 
bones found that the warriors, including a few women, averaged over six feet 
and two inches in height, ^^"ithout animals for transportation, their bones 
were made wonderfully strong by the constant carrying of heavy burdens, 
and their joints heavily articulated, and the trochanters forming the attach- 
ment of muscles show that they were not only a race of giant statute, but also 
of more than giant strength. 

Many relics from these mounds, as well as from the surface of the earth 
elsewhere, have been collected by old resident physicians, and others, especially 
Prof. John Collett, late state geologist, and Josephus Collett, and an interest- 
ing museum may here and there be found presenting a great variety of arrow 
points, spear heads, stone axes, tomahawks, pestles, mortars, aboriginal pot- 
tery, pipes, ornaments, bones of Indian skeletons, etc. 


.\t the adx'ent of the white man to the Wabash \alley the Indians had 
virtually ceased from their long warfare and were living in a quiet state. They 
had no villages or places of permanent residence. In the summer time they 
remained at one point and in the autumn and winter elsewhere. They lived in 
wigwams made of deer skins and buffalo robes, which could he easily re- 
moved from place to place, or be substituted by others made from the bark of 
trees. The first white settlers saw all along the banks of the creeks and rivers 
circular holes in which Indians had cooked their food, and at night would 
sleep upon the ground with their feet hanging down in the warm places made 
there in the manner described. The Wabash ri\er was by them called Wah- 
bashshikka; by the French, Ouabache; the Vermillion was called Osanamon, 
but by the French, a name which signifies yellow, red or vermillion, after- 
wards translated into English as Yellow river. 

The Miamis occupied a portion of what is now Vermillion county, but 
their general territory was east of the Wabash. They were a tall, straight 
race, of handsome countenance, especially the maidens, and were bra\e and 
terrible as enemies, kind and faithful as friends. 

Then there were the Kickapoos, or Mosquitans, originally from the 
north and northwest, who occupied the regions south and southwest of the Big 
Vermillion river, but occasionally, by comity of neighbors, camped for a 
greater part of the time north of the Vermillion, on their neighbor's territory. 
The Pottawatomies, also a northern tribe, owned the territory and their rights 


were recognized by the government in treaties. Vermillion county was at that 
time and had been for some years the home of each tribe, who at the zenith 
of their power had their headquarters at the Big Springs, a half mile south of 
Eugene, and the place was known among the whites as Springfield. There the 
councils of their confederacy were held and decisions as to wars and other 
troubles adjusted. The great treaty with the British merchants was made, 
and the governor of Virgina took possession of immense tracts of land on the 
lower Wabash. jNIany of the early settlers recollected the meetings held there, 
comprising eight hundred to one thousand individuals. The Pottawatomies 
were of a somewhat subdued disposition, somewhat stoop-shouldered and of 
unpleasant countenance: on the other hand, the Kickapoos were a warlike 
race, quarreled some with all other tribes, and only happy when giving and 
receiving hard blows. 

It is believed that the French missionaries passed down or up the Wa- 
bash as early as 1702, possibly two years earlier than that. The missionaries, 
being Jesuits, were successful in winning converts among the savages. Near 
the Indian village on section 16, township 17, range 9 west, on cutting down 
a white oak tree, the rings of growth over the scar made by a white man's axe 
showed that the incision was made not later than 1720. 

It was about 1790 when General Hamtramck led his expedition of Indian 
volunteers and militia from Vincennes to attack the non-aggressive Indians 
and their village on the old Shelby farm, near the mouth of the Vermillion. 
These were the weakened remnants of the now almost extinct Pottawatomies 
and Kickapoos. This was their favorite camping ground, the confluence of 
the rivers giving them opportunities for taking fish, which were then very 
plentiful. The terrace lands above were filled with thousands of plum bushes 
and grape vines, and it was known as the "great plum patch." The expedi- 
tion, in two columns, crossed the Indian ford at Eugene, just north of where 
the mill dam was later constructed. Thence they marched in a circuitous 
manner to attack the \illage in the rear, when the direct division should attack 
it at the same time from the south. The warriors and braves were off on a 
hunting expedition, and there were none to molest or make afraid the "gal- 
lant" soldiers, except the broken down old men, the women and the children. 
It is no wonder that later gn the Indians of this region took part in the battle 
of Falling Timbers and Tippecanoe. 

La Chappelle is the name of the first trading post established in the Ver- 
million village, near Hamtramck's battle ground, the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 33, township 18, range 9 west, bv M. Laselle. afterwards for many years 
one of the distinguished citizens of Logansport, this state, .\nother trading 


post was subsequently established by an Englishman on the John Collett farm, 
sections 9 and 16. It was the custom of the French traders here to strike 
small medals, in size less than a silver quarter of a dollar, with a few figures 
and initial letters upon them, and tack them upon the trees at the mouths of 
the tributaries claimed, as a sign of possession. 

The Indians at the southern end of this county did their trading at 
stockades in Sullivan and Knox counties. Among the earliest traders were 
two brothers, Frenchmen, named Brouillet. For some reason the Indians of 
that region entertained a strong enmity toward one of the brothers. He was 
captured and brought to their village, near the mouth of a creek south of 
Clinton, that now bears his name. At once it was decided to burn him at the 
stake, and to the stake he was fastened with buckskin thongs. After the men 
had ceased talking, the squaws, according to Indian custom, had a right to be 
heard. An aged squaw, who had had a son killed in warfare, demanded the 
right to adopt the prisoner as a substitute for her lost son, and whilst the 
privilege was generally granted, on this occasion the demand was refused, 
although she pleaded earnestly and long. In her \'\ild but heroic determina- 
tion, she seized a butcher knife and, before anyone could interfere, cut the 
prisoner loose, pointed to a canoe on the sand shore of the Wabash, and told 
him to run and save his life if he could. He did run. Pushing the canoe out 
into the water as far as possible, and giving it directive force toward the 
middle of the river he sprang aboard and, lying flat in its bottom, paddled it 
into the stream beyond the reach of the Indians" rifles and escaped. This inci- 
dent gave the stream the name of Brouillet's creek. 

The Brouillets took wives from the Miami tribe. The wife of the elder 
Brouillet belonged to the family in the line of promotion to the chieftainship. 
On his death the mother returned to her people, and the children were en- 
titled, according to law, to their proper home and position among her people. 
Her eldest son grew up an enthusiastic and vigorous young man, and became 
one of the chiefs of the Miamis. He was equitable in his dealings, energetic 
in his duties, and a great commander. His prudence served in a great meas- 
ure to settle any difficulties with his white neighbors, who were constantly ' 
encroaching upon his territory and often inflicting injustice upon his people. 
Frequently, the young men desired to avenge their wrongs, but he was able 
to prevent the butchering episodes of Indian warfare and retaliation. 

Joseph Collett, Sr., after surveying through the then swampv grounds of 
Hendricks and Montgomery counties, found that his camp was without pro- 
visions, and all, including himself, were more or less sick. On the return 
march of Gen. W'illiani Henrv Harrison's armv to Fort Harrison, now the 


city of Terre Haute, he directed the others to go and secure food, and leave 
him on the bank of the Raccoon creek in a little tent. Chief Brouillet came to 
him, offered his services to kill game and to dress and cook it, and tenderly 
care for him, which he did as well as could a woman. Fifty years later, Mr. 
Collett could only recall the experience and scene with tears in his eyes, and 
declared Chief Brouillet was one of the best looking men that ever trod the 
banks of the Wabash, and that he was as kind hearted as he was brave. 


In the march to Tippecanoe the Confederate Indians had prepared an 
ambuscade for Harrison's army at the narrow pass between the high, rocky 
bluffs and the Wabash river, at Vicksburg, near Perrysville. The army 
forded the river near Montezuma and marched up on the west side of the 
river and thus avoided that ambuscade. They crossed the Little Vermillion, 
near the railroad bridge of later years, passed up the hollow just back of 
where Joseph Morehead later settled. Remnants of their corduroy road and 
bridge might have been seen a quarter of a century later. On tliat march the 
useless shooting of a gun was prohibited, and even loud talking, under pen- 
alty of death. Judge Naylor, of Crawfordsville, who was one of the volun- 
teers, tells the incident that on Oak Island, on S. S. Collett's farm, a fright- 
ened deer jumped over the outer rank of men, and finding himself penned in, 
ran in various directions, over the enclosed space, and although the soldiers 
needed fresh meat they were not permitted to shoot the animal. It was al- 
lowed to get away in safety. On the two spring branches, on the John Col- 
lett farm, sections 9 and 16, corduroy roads were to be seen as late as 1890. 

The army marched as close to the ri\'er bank as possible, for the protec- 
tion of the pirogues and keel-boats, which carried corn for their horses and 
pro\isions for the men. Spies reported that on account of low water further 
navigation was impracticable at Coal Creek bar. The boats were landed on 
the Collett farm, near the later-day ferry known as Gardner's Ferry. It was 
determined to build a stockade on the farm of the late J. W. Porter, at a point 
known as Porter's eddy, and that it should partially overhang the river, so as 
to protect the boats and their stores. Such a fort could usually ha\e lieen 
built in one day, but in the bustle and hurry of handling they lost half their 
axes in the water. One of these was a long time afterwards found, and it 
was considered curious that a new axe, unused and mounted with an unused 
handle, should be found there, until Judge Naylor explained the fact that 
many axes were there lost on the occasion just mentioned, while the men were 


busily engaged in building the stockade. Persons were still living in 1890, in 
this count)', who remember seeing portions of this old stockade. 

The Kentuckians and the mounted rifle men recruited their horses on the 
rich blue grass pastures, in the river valley bottoms, on the Porter and Col- 
lett farms. 

A sergeant and eight men were left to guard the stockade. About seven 
days afterward a wild looking soldier returned, reporting a disastrous battle 
at Tippecanoe, the defeat and destruction of the whole army, and that he alone 
was left to tell the stor}' ; that they must quickly destroy the post and retreat to 
a safe place. The sergeant's reply was, "I was ordered to hold this post: I 
shall do so. And as for you. deserter and coward, my men will put you u]ion 
the ridge-pole of the stockade, and tie your feet together. If the Indians 
come you will catch the first bullet and shall be the first to die. \\\' \Aill die 
at our post of duty." 

The army marched through the prairie region, west of Perrys\-ille, to 
where State Line village now stands, and near which place they passed the 
north boundary of this county, and from which point the line of march and 
camping places has already been described. 

Major James Blair and Judge J. M. Coleman settled on section 16, be- 
tween Eugene and Newport, before the land in that region was offered for 
sale by the government. The prairie was known as Little A/^ermillion, or 
Coleman's prairie. These two men had always been pioneers. Blair liad been 
one of the heroes of Perry's victories on Lake Erie, and later held conspicu- 
ous positions of honor and trust in the community and state; but at this time 
he and Coleman were peace-makers bet\\een the Indians, whose confidence 
they had, and they knew that Indians, if properly treated, could be trusted. 

Se-Seep, or See-Sheep, a small, bow^-legged, stoop-shouldered, white- 
haired man a hundred and ten years old, was chief of the Pottawatomies and 
their allied Kickapoos. Their territory ranged from the Little Vermillion to 
Pine creek, including the north half of Vermillion county, all of ^^'arren and 
the west half of Fountain. Se-Seep had been a gallant fighter in the defense 
of his people and country at the battle of Fallen Timbers ( ^^'ayne's \ictory), 
and afterwards in the terrible defeat of his people at Tippecanoe. Bra\e and 
heroic in battle, after signing the treaties of peace with the American authori- 
ties, he was faithful and trustworthy and finally became a reliable friend of 
the white people. He became the hero of a serio-comic incident wherein 
Noah Hubbard, who settled on Indian lands where Cayuga now stands, be- 
came the Ijutt of ridicule. Hubbard was cultivating a portion of a ten-acre 
tract. One dav the Indians crossed at the Armv Ford and "stole" roasting 


ears and squashes as rental. Hubbard found Se-Seep with some ears of corn 
and two squashes in the folds of his lilanket, and he undertook to castigate the 
chief with a cane. Se-Seep did not scare, but, dropping the vegetables and 
corn, chased Hubbard out of the field with a stick. Then Hubbard went to 
Blair and Coleman and demanded that the}' should call out the Rangers and 
the mounted riflemen, declaring that the Indians were destroying his prop- 
erty, and that the)- should l)e dealt with and punished. The}- refused to call 
out the Rangers, but said he might notify them to assemble at their house the 
next morning. He did so, and the next morning some of the riflemen also 
assembled and commenced shooting at a mark. The Indians had camped for 
the night, a mile to the north, at the famous Buffalo Springs. Blair intro- 
duced to the Indians the n-iatters of difference, and concluded tn have an imi- 
tation Indian pow-wow. Accordingly, he and Coleman, who had been chosen 
as arbitrators, repaired to a plum thicket, with a well-worn Testament, a 
wooden-covered spelling book, a dilapidated almanac and a remnant of an old 
law book, as authorities. Here they held a sham court, chattering gibberish 
antl gesticulating like Indians, and finall}- rendered the following ^■erdict : 
That the two litigants settle the whole matter by a fist fight. The decision 
was no sooner announced than the little old Indian chief, who was dressed 
onl}- with a blanket-belt, threw- it oft' and made rapidly for llulibard. Of 
course the latter ran as fast as he could, mounted his pony and was soon out 
of sight. The Indians, who are scarcely ever known to laugh, indulged 
heartily on this occasion. 

Se-Seep was finall}- nuirdered in a foul manner at Xebuker's S])rings. 
I'ountain county, at the age of one hundred and ten years, by a lazy, vicious 
Indian named Nanmqua. He had a splendid son, who, at the age of seven- 
teen }ears, was killed by falling fifty feet from a tree, wdnile fighting a bear, 
near the residence of John Collett. 

Although no battles or skirmishes in connection with the war of 1S12 
took place in this county, the "A'ermillion countr\-" wa> two or ihree times 
crossed by belligerents. From a copy of Gen. John Tipton"s journal it is 
learned : Tipton was an illiterate man, but a daring fighter, and in the autumn 
of 1811 he, as a ]:)rivate in Captain Spencer's Harrison County Riflemen, jour- 
ne}-ed fron-i Corydon, that county, down the ^Vabash to Fort Harrison, four 
miles north of Terre Haute, and up the same stream again, in the Indian can-i- 
paign which ended in the bloody battle of Tippecanoe. The company com- 
prised forty-seven men, besides ofificers, and these were joined b}- Captain 
Heath and tw-ent}--two men. In going down the river they guarded a keel- 
boat of provisions for Camp Harrison, and concerning this trip it ma}- be 


quoted: "October 6. — We moved early; one mile came to the river at the 
coal bank; found it was below the Vermillion half a mile; we took coffee; 
moved after the boat started down. The coal bank is on the east side of the 
Wabash. We went through a' small prairie; crossed the river to the west 
side; went in on the head of a bar and came out on the lower end of another 
on- the west side ; went through a small prairie, then came to a big prairie, 
where the old Vermillion town was. We crossed the Wabash half a mile 
above the Vermillion river's mouth, before we came to the above town. 
Crossed the \'ermillion ri\er, took a south course through timbered land, and 
then through a prairie with a good spring and an old Indian hut. then through 
a beautiful timbered ground to a small creek, and stopped to let our horses 
graze; then went through a good land with a ridge on our right out of which 
came four springs, and for two miles nothing but large sugar and walnut. 
The hill and the river came close together. We found a good coal bank 
fourteen miles l>eow Vermillion. We then crossed to the east side, went three 
miles and camped with the boat; after coming twenty miles and finding two 
bee trees, left them." 

An entry was made on the 31st as follows ; 

"We moved early. Two of the oxen missing. Three of our men sent to 
hunt for them. We crossed Raccoon creek. Saw our men who went to 
guard the boats on the 29th ; they left us. We came to the river where we 
camped on our return from Vermillion on the night of the 6th ; thence up to 
the ford. Saw our boat guard just crossing the river. We halted till the 
army came up, then rode the river, which was very deep, then camped. Our 
boat-guard and the men who went to hunt the oxen came up, when we left 
the guards. We took a north course up the east side of the Waljash, crossed 
to the w est, with orders to kill all the Indians we saw. Fine news ! The gov- 
ernor's wagon was left this morning in consequence of the oxen being lost. 
All the army crossed in three hours. We drew corn. 

"Friday, November i — I was sent with eighteen men to look for a way 
for the army to cro«s Little Vermillion. Marched at daybreak; came to the 
creek ; found and marked the road ; waited till the army came up ; went on 
and camped on the river two miles below the Big Vermillion ; Captain Spencer, 
myself and three others went up the Big \^ermillion ; returned to camp. Gen- 
eral Wells, with forty men, and Captain Berry, w ith nine men, had come up. 
Our camp marched in front today, as usual, which now consisted of thirty- 
seven men, in consequence of Captain Berry and Lindlex- ])eing attached to it. 

"Saturday, November 2. — A fine day. Captain S])encer, with ten men, 
went out on a scout. Our company not ]iarading as usual, the Governor 


threatened to break the officers. I staid in cam]). The army staid here to build 
a block house on the bank of the Wabash three miles below Vermillion, in a 
small prairie. The house twenty-five feet square, and a breastwork from each 
corner next the river down to the water. Took horses and drew brush over 
the prairie to break down the weeds. This e\-ening- a man came from the 
garrison ; said last night his boat was fired upon. One man, who was asleep, 
was killed. Three boats came up, unloaded ; went back, taking a sick man 
with them. One of Captain Bobb's men died tonight." 

"Sunday, the 3d. — A cloudy da}-. ^Ve moved early. Our company 
marched on the right wing today. Crossed the big Vermillion, through a 
prairie six miles, through timber, then through a wet prairie with groves of 
timber in it," etc. 

Thus has been quoted all of General Tipton's journal that pertains to 
the march through Vermillion county. Under date of November 7, 181 1, he 
gives an account of the battle of Tippecanoe, in a paragraph scarcel\- longer 
than the average of his journal, as if unaware that this action was of any 
greater importance than an insignificant skirmish. Tipton was promoted from 
rank to rank until he was finally made general. His orthography, punctuation, 
etc.. were so bad we conclude not to follnw it in the above extracts, save in a 
few cases, like spelling "staid." 

Nearly every entry in his daily journal not quoted opens with the state- 
ment that the weather is very cold. He also makes occasional reference to 
the soldiers drawing their rations of whisky, from one to four quarts at a time. 

In Harrison's march to Tippecanoe his boats (pirogues) could not pass 
Coal Creek bar, spoken of above, under date of October 31st. and for their 
protection he built a stockade fort at the head of Porter's edd}-. the precise 
location being the northeast quarter of section 9. township 17, range 9 west. 
Here he left the sergeant and ten men to guard them. The remains of the 
heavy timbers were still to be plainl}' observed in 1839. Corduroy or pole 
bridges, buried in mud, might have been seen in 1890. on the spring branches 
on the farms of Hon. John Collett, S. S. Collett and the Head family, sec- 
tions 9 and 15, town-ship 17, range 9 west. General Harrison also had caches 
(places for the safe keeping and hiding of fond) in this county along the 

According to the treaties. General Harrison made a purchase for the 
government, the northern line of which, west of the Wabash, extended from a 
point directly opposite the mouth of the big Raccoon creek northwesterly. 
This tract was opened for white settlement long before the southern portion 
of the county was, which remained in the possession of the Kickapoos and 
Pottawatomies for a few years longer. 



The date of tlie first settlement 1iv while men in V'ermilhon county was 
1816. The location was the southeast corner of section 9. township 14, range 
9 west, where John Vannest and a man named Hunter, who was by occupa- 
tion also a hunter, had ventured west of the ^^'abash to select land for making 
a permanent home. This point was about a mile north of where now stands 
the thriving city of Clinton. Here they halted first for the night. Hunter soon 
secured a deer, which he killed, and thus they were proxided with a fine sup- 
per. In the morning, after gazing about for a few minutes only, Mr. Vannest 
decided that that would be'as good a location as he would probably find. Then 
he returned to his temporary home at Fort Harrison, four miles north of 
present Terre Haute, and wajted a short time for the day of the government 
land sales to arrix'e at Vincennes. He then entered three-quarters of section 
9, and l.ater purchased the other quarter of the same section of William Rales. 
This land is on the second bottom, very high and beautifully undulating, liut 
was originally heavily covered with excellent timber. Had he gone a little 
further to the north he would ha\'e disco\ered a beautiful little prairie, which 
would be land already cleared for him ; but this point was either unknown to 
him. or else it was too near, or even over, the line between the government 
land and that of the Indians, .\gain, at that day it was a question in the 
minds of settlers as to whether the prairie lands could be profitably culti- 
va!ted and dwelt upon with safety and comfort the year al)out on account of 
the cold winds. 

On these finely situated lands of timber Mr. Vannest settled, bringing 
with him his wife and several children. Erecting first a log cabin on the ^^•est 
side of his land, he occupied it for a long period, when he built a large brick 
residence, from bricks he had made near by. This was Vermillion countA^'s 
first brick structure. The brick-mason employed was a Mr. Jones from near 
Newport. Years afterward this residence was considered unsafe and was 
torn down. 

The lands Mr. Vannest obtained remain mostly (or did a few _\-ears 
since) in the name of his descendants, and it is a remarkable fact that from 


tliis land no less than fort}--five men entered the sersice of their country dur- 
ing the great Civil war from 1861 to 1865 — a loyal spot indeed, and its in- 
habitants all defenders of the "Stars and Stripes." 

John Vannest, Jr., son of the first settler \^annest, was the first white 
child horn in Veraiillion county, although it has been sometimes stated that the 
lirst was Hon. William Skidmore, of Helt township. John Vannest, Sr., 
died at the age of sixty-two years on September 28, 1842, and his wife Mary 
died August 29, 1824, aged forty-four years, both being buried in the Clinton 
cemetery, north of town. One of their daughters, Sarah, who became the 
widow of Scott Malone, was the oldest woman resident of Clinton county in 
1889, and used to recall the time when the girls, as well as boys, had to "go 
to meeting" and to school barefooted, sometimes walking and other times 
going on horseback. The schools and religious services were held in the then 
popular log school house, with puncheon floor, mud-and-stick chimney, flat 
rails for benches, a slab pinned up for a w riting desk, and greased paper for 

Mrs. ^klalone and her twin sister, born August 6, 1812, hence four years 
of age when the parents moved to Vermillion county, were remarkable from 
the fact that they so nearly resembled one another that even in womanhood 
one was m.istaken for the other, even by their own children. The twin sister 
was Jane, who married Thomas Kibby, and died in ]\Iarch, 1880. Records 
left liy these worthy women have materially aided the present historian. 

Mrs. Vannest had two narrow escapes from death at the hands of the 
Indians. This came about as follows : Two white soldiers at Camp Harri- 
son became engaged in a quarrel one da)-, and one of them, in attempting to 
shoot the other, carelessly missed his aim and killed an Indian squaw l^evnnd. 
Thereupon the red-skins vowed that they would kill the first "white squaw" 
they saw who should cross to the west side of the Wabash. .Vccordingly. 
they watched their opportunity, and made two attempts to take the life of 
Mrs. Vannest. In the first instance her life was saved by the timely inter- 
ference of a friendly Indian, and the other time by the violent interference of 
her relatives and friends. Soon after this her husband took her back to Fort 
Harrison, where she remained until the afifair had been partiallv forgotten bv 
the Indians. 

The above will sufiice on the first settlement of this county, and this brief 
description will be followed up in the histories of the various townships. 



At an early day there were several circular "hunts" or "drives." The 
largest competitive chase held in the county lasted three months. Two leaders 
were chosen, who picked their men and divided the neighborhood into two 
parties for a compass of ten miles; they were to bring in the scalps of the 
slain animals at the end of three months, and the leader who showed the most 
scalps could demand five gallons of the best whisky, as a treat from the beaten 
side. A wolf, fox, crow, coon, or mink scalp was to be considered equal to 
five other scalps in their value. A squirrel or chipmunk scalp counted one. 
On the appointed day the opposing forces assembled. The committees began 
to count the scalps, and the task took them until three o'clock in the afternoon, 
when it was announced that there were seventy thousand scalps. Thus by a 
general rivalry, the settlers enjoyed the execution of a plan which proved the 
means of safety and protection to their homes and their crops. 



The territory comprising present Vermillion county is thirty-seven miles 
long from north to south and a\erages about seven miles in width from east 
to west. It is bounded on the north by Warren county, Indiana, on the east 
by the Wabash river (Fountain and Parke counties), on the south by Vigo 
county, and on the west by Edgar and Vermillion counties, in Illinois. 

Vermillion was originally a part of Vigo county. In 1821 Vigo county 
was divided by the organization of Parke county, which comprised Vermillion 
as a part of it, and Roseville, on the Big Raccoon, was the coiJnty seat. In 
1823, by act of the Indiana Legislature, Parke county was divided by the 
Wabash river, the part west of the river being organized as Vermillion county 
and named from the rivers. For manv years the Big Vemiillion river had 
been the boundary between the possessions of the Peaukeshaws on the south 
and the Kickapoos and Pottawatomies on the north, and during the period of 
ownership by France it was a part of the boundary between Canada and 

Vermillion county was created by an act of the General Assembly, ap- 
proved January 2, 1824. In order that it may be referred to as the genera- 
tions come and go, and being assured that it is authentic, as copied from the 
minutes and journals of the General Assembly of the state, the full text of 
the bill is here given, and reads as follows : 

■'Section i. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of In- 
diana, that from and after the first day of February next, all that part of the 
counties of Parke and Wabash included within the following bounds shall 
form a new county, that is to say: Beginning on the west bank of tfie 
Wabash river, where the township line dividing townships numbered 13 and 
14 north, of range 9 west, of the second principal meridian, crosses the same; 
thence west to the state line ; thence north to the line dividing townships num- 
bered 19 and 20 north; thence east to the ^^^abash river; thence south with 
the meanders of said river to the place of beginning. 

"Section 2. The said new county shall, from and after the first dav of 
February next, be known and designated by the name of the county of Ver- 


million, and it shall enjoy all the rights and privileges and jurisdictions which 
to a separate and independent county do or may properly belong or appertain ; 
provided always, that all suits, pleas, plaints, actions and proceedings which 
may before the first day of March next have been commenced, instituted and 
pending within the county of Parke, shall be prosecuted to final judgment and 
effect in the same manner as if this act had not been passed ; providing also, 
that the state and county taxes which are now due within the bounds of the 
said new county shall be collected and paid in the same manner and by the 
same officers as they would have been if the creation of the said new count}- 
had not taken place. 

"Section 3. Robert Sturgis and Samuel Caldwell, of the county of 
Vigo; Moses Robbins, of Parke county; William Pugh, of Sullivan county, 
and William Mcintosh, of the county of Putnam, are hereby appointed com- 
missioners, agreeably to the act entitled 'An act for the fixing of the seats of 
justice in alUnew counties hereafter to be laid off.' The commissioners above 
named, or a majority of them, shall convene at the house of James Blair, in 
the said new county of Vermillion, on the first day of March next, and im- 
mediately proceed to discharge the duties assigned them by law. It is hereby 
made the duty of the sheriff of Parke county to notify said commissioners 
either in person or by written notice of their appointment, on or before the 
first day of February next ; and the said sheriff of Parke county shall receive 
from said county of Vermillion such compensation therefor as the county 
commissioners of said new county of Vermillion shall deem just and reason- 
able ; who are hereby authorized to allow the same out of moneys in the 
treasury of said county, not otherwise appropriated, in tlie same manner as 
other allowances are made. 

"Section 4. The circuit court of the county of Vermillion shall meet at 
the house of James Blair, in the said new county of A'ermillion, until suitable 
accommodations can be had at the county seat ; they shall adjourn their 
courts thereto, after which time the courts of said county shall be holden at 
the seat of justice of said county established by law; pro\ided always, that 
the circuit court shall have authority to adjourn the court from the house of 
James Blair as aforesaid, to any other place, previous to the completion of the 
public buildings, should the said court or a majority of them deem it expedient. 

"Section 5. The board of county commissioners of the said county of 
Vermillion shall within six months after the permanent seat of justice of said 
county has been selected, proceed to erect the necssary jjublic buildings 

"Section 6. The agent who shall be appointed for the sales of lots at the 


seat of justice of said new county shall reserve and receive ten per centum 
out of the proceeds of all donations made to said county, and also out of the 
proceeds of all sales made of lots at the county seat of said county, and pay 
the same over to such person or jjersons as ma)' be appointed by law to re- 
ceive the same, for the use of the county library for the said county of Ver- 
million, which shall pay o^•er at such time and place as may be directed by 

"Section 7. The powers, privileges and authorities that are granted to 
the qualified voters of the county of Dubois and others named in the act en- 
titled 'An act incorporating a county library" in the counties therein named, 
approved January 28, 1818, to organize, support and conduct a county library, 
are hereby granted to the qualified voters of the county of A'ermillion ; and 
the same powers and authorities therein granted and the same duties therein 
re<juired of the several officers and persons elected by the qualified voters of 
Dubois and other counties therein named, for the purpose of carrying into 
effect the provisions of the act aforesaid, according to the true intent and 
meaning thereof, are hereby granted to and required to the officers, and other 
persons elected by the qualified voters of Vermillion county. 

"Section 8. The said county of Vermillion shall have both civil and 
criminal jurisdiction over all the countr_\- north of said county, which is or 
may lie included in ranges 9 and 10 west, to the northern boundary of the 

■'Section 9. The said new count}- of Vermillion shall l)e attached to the 
counties of Parke and A^igo. for the purpose of electing representati\-es to 
Congress, and to the same senatorial and representative districts to which 
said counties now belong, for the purpose of electing senators and representa- 
ti\'es to the General Assembly, and to the first return district for the purpose 
of returning votes for electors of President and Vice-President of the United 

For in excess of one year Vermillion county thus had jurisdiction over 
more than a hundred miles of country north and south, extending to Lake 
Michigan, within a few miles from the modern citv of Chicago. 


In 1824 the county seat was located at Newport, where it has always 
remained. It was then within little else than a wilderness. The locating 
commissioners were : Robert Sturgis, Samuel M. Caldwell, \\^illiam Pugh 
and William Mcintosh, of adjoining counties. It is likely that a fifth com- 
missioner was appointed, but did not serve for some unknown reason. 


It is likely that the county seat was located at Newport on account of its 
central location, and also on account of the immense spring that gushed forth 
from the earth at that point. Again, there was located a grist and saw-mill on 
Little Vermillion river, and the people donated more liberally than was the 
case in other parts of the county. 

After securing a seat of justice, the earliest acts of the county commis- 
sioners were recorded in a home-made book, manufactured for the purpose 
by the county clerk. It was left where mice worked and, much of the records 
are not plainly made out. In March, 1882, as much of the mutilated book as 
was possible was carefully transcribed in a large well-bound book. This 
transcript begins with the minutes of the session of March, 1824, the year in 
which the county was organized, so really but very little of the original rec- 
ords have been lost. The first session was held at the house of James Blair, 
situated near the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 16, in 
township 16 north, of range 9 west. That was on the west side of the old 
.wagon road leading from Eugene to Newport, about half way between the 
two towns. 

The early records above referred to included the following paragraphs : 

"At a special meeting of the board of commissioners of Vermillion 
county, begun and held at the house of James Blair, on Tuesday, March 23, 
1824, and the commissioners, havitig their certificates of election and having 
taken the necessary oath, took their seats. Commissioners present, John 
Haines, Thomas Durham and Isaac Chambers. 

"First. Ordered, that \\'illiam W. Kennedy be and is hereby appointed 
clerk of the board of commissioners of Vermillion county for this session. 

"Third. Ordered, that all that part of the county of Vermillion con- 
tained in the following bounds, to-\vit: Beginning at the Wabash river, 
where the line dividing townships 13 and 14 crosses the same, thence with said 
line to the line dividing the states of Indiana and Illinois, thence north to the 
line dividing townships 14 and 15, thence east with said line to the \Valwsh 
ri\er. thence south with said river to the place of beginning, shall constitute 
the ci\il township of Clinton ; and that the election in said township be held in 
said township at the house of Jehn Sargeant, in Clinton. 

"Fourth. Ordered, that all that part of the county of Vermillion con- 
tained in the following bounds, to-wit ; Beginning at the Wabash river where 
the line 1:ietween townships 14 and 15 crosses the same, thence west with the 
said line to the center of township 16, thence east with said central line to the 
W'abash river, tlience south with .said river to the place of beginning, shall 


constilute the township of Helt, and that elections for said township be held 
at the house of John \'an Camp. 

"Fifth. Ordered, that all that part of Vermillion county, contained in 
the following bounds, to-wit : Beginning at the Wabash river at the center of 
township 16, thence west with said central line to the line di\'iding the states 
of Indiana and Illinois, thence north with said line until it strikes the Big 
Vermillion river, thence east with said river until it empties into the Wabash, 
thence south with said river to the place of beginning, shall constitute the 
township of Vermillion, and that elections in said township be held at the 
school house in section i6, in township i6. 

"Sixth. Ordered, that all that part of Vermillion county contained in 
the following bounds, to-wit : Beginning at the Wabash river at the mouth 
of Big Vermillion river, thence west with said river to the line dividing the 
states of Indiana and Illinois, thence north with said line dividing townships 
19 and 20, thence east with said line to the Wabash ri\-er to the place of begin- 
ning, shall constitute the township of Highland, and that elections be lield 
in that township at the house of Jacob Andrick." 

Among the early journal entries are those relating to the appointment 
of constables for the following townships : Charles Trowbridge, for Clinton 
township; John Harper, for Helt township: Jacob Custer, for A'^ermillion 
township ; George Hansucker, for Highland township. All the abo\-e \ito- 
ceedings were had on the first day of the first session of the board of com- 

Clinton and Helt tow?nships remain unchanged to this da}-, but the other 
two townships have been made into three as follows : The line between A^er- 
million and Eugene townships is the line dividing sections 19 and 30 of sur- 
veyed township 17 north and 10 west, running east to the northeast corner 
of section 21, township 17 north and range 9 west, thence north a half mile, 
and thence east to the river; the line dividing Eugene and Highland townships 
is the line dividing sections 19 and 30 of tow-nship 18 north and 10 west, run- 
ning east to the river; and from the northern side of Highland township has 
been cut of¥ one tier of sections of congressional township 19 north, 9 west, 
and thrown into Warren county. 

The first grand jurors in A^ermillion count}' were appointed as follows: 
David W. Arnold, Horace Luddington, Rezin Shelby. Andrew Thompson. 
John Tipton, William Coffin, John Scott, Jesse Higgins. Morgan De Puy, 
William Hedges, John Vannest, William Boyles. James .Andrews. James 
Harper, Sr., and James Davis. 


The iirst petit jury was composed of the following gentlemen: Joel 
Dicken, Robert Elliott, James Groenendyke, John Thompson, Simeon Dicken, 
Isaac Worth, Lewis Zebreskey, Benjamin Shaw, Alexander Bailey, William 
Rice, Harold Hayes, Amos Reeder, William Hamilton, John Clover, Ralph 
Wilson, John Winisett, Abraham Moore, John Maxadon, Joseph Dillow, 
Thomas Alatheny, John E. Anderson, Obed Blakesley, John Van Camp and 
Joshua Skidmore. 

The board of commissioners appointed "superintendents" of the school 
sections ; Harold Hughes, for Clinton township : William Bales, for Helt 
township; James Davis, for Vermillion township; William Coffin, for that in 
17 north, 9 west, in Highland township; Horace Luddington in 18 north, 
and Jacob Andrick in 19, also in Highland. 

The first overseers of the poor in this county were: John Vannest, for 
Clinton township; James Andrews and .-Vugusus Ford, for Helt; Zeno Worth 
and John Tipton, for Vermillion, and John Haines and William Gonger, for 

John Collett was appointed "agent for laying out a county seat," and 
also for "selling such lots as were donated by John Justice and George Miner 
for the use of the county, such lands as were by them donated as more fully 
appears by their bonds." 

Alexander Bailey was appointed the first collector in this county. "The 
County Library Fund" was in charge of James Blair, but such librar}-, with 
all others in the commonwealth, was abandoned. 

On the third day of this session the bills of the sherift' and commissioners 
apijuinted 1)\^ the state government to locate the county seat were audited and 
ordered paid. William Fulton was allowed thirty-five dollars "as a sheriff 
in organizing the county of Vermillion," and also two dollars and fifty cents 
for olitaining a copy of the laws regulating tlie duties of the office of sheriff' 
in new counties. 

jnlui Collett \vas authorized to receive a deed of the land for the county 
seat from John Justice, Josephus Collett and Stephen Collett, the land l)eiug 
"all that part of the west half of the southwest quarter of section 26, in town- 
ship 17 north, of range 9 west, which may be south of the Little Vennillion 
creek should the same contain more or less." 

The Mav, 1824, session of the board of commissioners met at the house 
of Tames Blair, but at once adjourned to the house of Josephus Collett, at 
Vermillion Mills. At this place Mr. Haines did not appear. The other two 
commissioners decreed that ferrv licenses be seven dollars; "that the clerk 


list all property liable to taxation for county purposes to the full amount 
allowed by law.'" The rate of tavern license was fixed at five dollars. The 
board entered an order that the seat of justice should be known as "the town 
of Newport." It was also ordered that the lots in said town be laid of¥ ac- 
cording to the following form, viz : Lots, sixty-six feet in front and one hun- 
dred and eighty-one feet in depth. 

The board divided the county into thirteen road districts, and tlie same 
were supplied by supervisors through appointment. 

James Blair was permitted to operate a ferry at Perrysville, and the rate 
of crossing was fixed by the county board as follows : Wagon and five horses, 
seventy-five cents ; wagon and four horses, sixty-two and a half cents ; wagon 
and three horses, fifty cents ; wagon and two horses, three shillings ; man and 
one horse, one shilling; pedestrian, six and a fourth cents: neat cattle, four 
cents a head ; hogs and sheep two cents a head. 

•Vt a point two miles north of Newport, John Gardner \\as authorized 
to operate a ferry across the Wabash. 

During the first year of the county's history the board of countv com- 
missioners placed a license of ten dollars as a license to vend foreign merchan- 
dise for the remaining portion of the year 1824. This was the first "protective 
tarifif" heard of in Vermillion county. 

With the machinery set in motion, the newly organized county soon 
began to build for the future. Public buildings had to be constructed and 
roads and bridges made. Taxes had to be levied and collected, all of which 
kept the commissioners quite busilv engaged for a number of years. 


Vermillion county has had the following public buildings erected for its 

At the June, 1824, session the county commissioners ordered a contract 
to be let for the building of a court house of the following description: 
Thirty-six feet in length and twenty- four feet in depth : containing two jury 
rooms, to be furnished with a window of fifteen lights and a door opening 
from each into the court room ; the latter to have eight feet for a ]oassage be- 
tween it and the jury room : balance of sixteen feet to be finished, laid ofif and 
worked in a semi-circular form, in a workmanlike manner: with seats for the 
judges, bar and jury : with banisters to separate the said court and jury rooms, 
eight feet one from the other across said court house, at the distance of eight 


feet from said jur)- rooms, except so much as may be necessary for the ad- 
mission of persons in and to the bar and court, which said space is not to 
exceed three feet ; and the said court room is to be furnished with three win- 
dows of fifteen Hghts each, and two good doors. Said building is to be erected 
on the southeast corner of the pubUc square, of good substantial frame of a 
ten-foot story covered with joint shingles; and said frame to be settled on a 
sulficient number of eighteen inch blocks two feet long." 

June 24, 1824, the board of commissioners met and awarded the contract 
for building the above described court house, for three hundred and forty-five 
dollars, the structure to be completed by the first of the following November. 

Although the commissioners refused to accept the building when said by 
the contractor to be completed, it was used for courts and other public meet- 
ings of all kinds until another was erected of brick. The contractor was 
John Justice, to whom the county paid a part of the contract price, and he 
sued the county for the balance, and finally recovered the full amount, the 
supreme court ordering the county to pay in full, with the costs in the pro- 

In the month of February, 183 1, the county commissioners obtained 
plans for another court house, and advertised for proposals for furnishing the 
material with Avhich to build it. James Skinner, being the lowest responsible 
bidder, was awarded the contract for furnishing the brick at three dollars and 
fifty cents per thousand, and Stephen B. Gardner was promised two dollars 
and fifty cents a perch for the stone. Other material was contracted for, and 
the court house was completed under the immediate supervision of the county 
commissioners, and was occupied until January 29, 1844, when, at eleven 
o'clock in the forenoon, it was partly destroyed by fire. The board met im- 
mediately and ordered the necessary repairs made. With the re-building and 
repairs thus made the structure served the county until 1868, when another 
court house was found necessary for the protection of the records and the 
transaction of the county's increasing business. Its cost was thirty thousand 
dollars. To this was added a wingon the west, in 1903, costing the county 
• twenty-eight thousand dollars more ,and this re-built structure is the present 
court house, which is a good brick building, of handsome proportions. 

In July, 1910, the belfry of the court house was struck l)y lightning, 
causing a loss of fifty dollars, which was made good by the insurance carried 
bv the countv. 

- -- «■ - ^ 






In June, 1828, four years after the organization of the county, the com- 
missioners let the contract for the erection of the first jail in Vermillion county, 
the same being sixteen by eighteen feet in size, two stories high, of hewed 
timbers, with a partition of twelve feet for ''debtors and criminals" room, 
lower story eight and a half feet in the clear, upper story eight feet, with 
partition as below, to be built of double timbers, eight by ten inches thick, or 
wider if convenient; roof to be of joint shingles, etc., etc. Samuel Hedges 
was the contractor, and the contract price was three hundred and sixty-nine 

In connection with the same building was to be a clerk's room, fourteen 
by sixteen feet, one story high, nine feet in the clear, two fifteen-light win- 
dows, one door, etc. For this room, Mr. Hedges was to be paid one hundred 
and sixteen dollars. Both structures were completed on time and no difficulty 
arose between contractor and commissioners. 

The present fine county jail, situated two squares to the east of the court 
house, is a combination of brick and stone. The brick portion, on the south, 
was a part of the jail built many years ago, and is now the sheriff's residence, 
while the main structure is of the finest grade of stone, cut and laid in an ex- 
cellent manner. The jail proper was erected in the nineties at a cost of 
fifteen thousand dollars. On the site of this building was the old jail in which 
was hanged the only man ever legally executed within Vermillion county. 
This was in 1879 and is mentioned elsewhere. 


Vermillion county has always been mindful of its unfortunate poor and 
at a very early date in its history provided a poor farm, which is still the com- 
fortable home of this class. The land comprising this farm^ — a quarter sec- 
tion, two miles south of Newport — was first entered by Wilbur and Davis 
from the government and comprises the southwest quarter of section 3, town- 
ship 16, range 9. Later Peter Smith became the owner, and upon it as secur- 
ity he borrowed a certain sum of money from the county: failing to pay, the 
land re\'erted to the county, and after a short time the authorities converted 
it into a poor farm upon which rude buildings were erected. These buildings 
on land worth thirty-five dollars per acre in 1886. became worthless, and in 
1887 Vermillion countv erected a splendid, up-to-date countv infirmarv, cost- 


ing almost sixteen thousand dollars. It included a department for the insane. 
The structure was erected two stories high, with a basement under the whole 
area, which was forty by one hundred and eight feet. The original building, 
as completed in 1887-88, had thirty-two rooms for inmates, six of which were 
planned for the insane subjects ; five rooms were set apart for the use of the 
superintendent and his family. This building was constructed by Moore & 
McCoy of Danville, Illinois. In 1887 the reports show that the average num- 
ber of inmates was about twenty. Joseph Conrad, who was made superin- 
tendent in the spring of 1881, at a salary of six hundred dollars per year, 
served for many years. 

Since then many additions and impro\-ements ha-\e been made on the 
premises. The superintendent's report to the county authorities in 1912 
show that there were then twenty-six males and fourteen females at this 
humane institution. The superintendent was Grant Knight. 


Vermillion county was the victim of a bold robbery on Monday night, 
April 18, 1870, and the Hoosicr State, published at Newport, had the follow- 
ing account of the afifair, at the time : 

Over thirty-five thousand dollars was stolen from the county treasury 
vault, which had been faithfully closed and locked by Treasurer S. B. Davis, 
w ho later became famous as the editor of the paper above named. 

The doors were forced open liy steel wedges, which were driven by a 
sledge. Neighbors heard the noise, but not distinctly enough to have their 
suspicions aroused. 

The next da)- Orville White, who had just learned of the l)urglary, saw 
two men carrying a satchel across the farms about three miles north of Clinton. 
Calling two railroad hands to his assistance, they gave chase, calling upon the 
suspected fugitives to halt. They struck for the river, and leaving a portion 
of their clothing up the bank, began to swim across. ]Mr. White and his 
companions arriving, saw a farmer on the opposite side whom they knew, and 
hallowed to him to kill the rascals. Getting into shallow water, they drew 
their revolvers and fired at him, '\\v. White then recjuested his assistant to 
watch the thieves until he could raise a posse to take them. Discovering a 
wallet in the river, Mr. White waded in and obtained it, and found it con- 
tained $16,354. He then went home, mounted a horse and started for Clinton 
to raise a posse; but in the meantime the scoundrels reached the opposite 
shore, a mile below where thev entered the stream, soon found two railroad 


hands, and drew their re\-oh-ers upon them, commanding them to give up 
their clothing in great haste, as the)' "had got into a row and had to swim the 
river to save their hves." Returning to the river, they got into a skiff and 
floated down past CHnton under cover of the night, and thus succeeded in 
getting avi^ay. 

It is thought that very skillful burglars must have pulled off this job. 
The following day, Mr. \\'hite learned that one of the assistants, whom he 
had hastily picked up from out a company of railroad men, near bv, was the 
receiver of a large amount of money at tliat time, but was not present at the 

On May 13th, $5,210 more of the county's money was found in a satchel 
lodged on the roots of a cottonwood a mile and a half below where tlie thieves 
commenced to swim the ri\-er. $15,320 was ne\er found. 


The subjoined was the assessed valuations in the various townships and 
corporations in Vermillion county in 191 1 : 

Highland township $2,465,030 Dana (corporation) $ 486,395 

Eugene township 1,376,085 Fairview Park (corpora- 

Vermillion township 1.940,000 tion) 110,140 

Helt township 3,202,720 Clinton City 1,882.730 

Clinton township 1,959,605 

Cayuga (corporation) 363,820 

Newport fcorporation) __ 402,720 Total $14,189,645' 


From the county commissioners' report of the finances of Vermillion 
county for the period between January i, 191 1, and that of January i, 1912, 
the following is extracted : 


Balances on hand January i, 191 1, and receipts from January i, 191 1, 
to January i, 1912, $503,600. Balance on hand in net cash, January i, 1912, 


For the year ending January i, 1912, the county officials made the fol- 
lowing exhibit (H. T. Payne, auditor) : 



Balance on hand Jan. i, 191 1 $18,644.68 

Treas. percentage and mileage 686.89 

Township poor 7,031.44 

Proceeds — poor asylum 1,005.38 

Pub. printing and adv. 26.80 

Board miners' examiners 3,068.00 

Change of venue 248.50 

Special judges 165.00 

Jury fees 3.37 

Int. from depositories 2,434.29 

County tax 52,894.24 

Miscellaneous 2,281.57 

Clerk's fees 2,136.36 

Auditor's fees _ 437-25 

Sheriff's fees 400.28 

Recorder's fees 2,431.85 

Total $93,895.90 


Expense Circuit Clerk's office $ 2,366.58 

Exp. County Auditor's office 3,544.94 

Exp. County Treasurer's office 4,039.08 

Exp. County Recorder's office i. 719-33 

Exp. County Sheriff's office 3,036.00 

Exp. County Surveyor's office 356.80 

Co. Supt. and Teacher's Inst 1,892.99 

County Assessor's office 789.86 

Coroner's inquests 39^-45 

County Health Commissioner 614.98 

County Commissioners' exp. 636.20 

County Council, Pauper and County Attorneys 772.00 

Board of Review 301.50 

Board of Truancy 222.75 

Assessing 2.616.00 

Township poor 5,004.78 

Court house 1,484.04 


County jail 975-49 

County poor asylum 4,918.58 

Orphan poor 2.484.25 

Benevolent institutions 407.19 

Insanity inquests 820.69 

Elections : 5.45 

Soldier burials 500.00 

Public printing 812.85 

Roads and highways 50.75 

Returning fines 17.00 

Bridge supt. and engineer 114.00 

Deficiency in school funds 1,332.47 

Expense of game warden 6.00 

Board of miner's examiners 919-75 

Taxes refunded 86.87 

Examination of public records '. 338.30 

Bridge repairs 8,768.71 

Change of venue 1,141.90 

Special judges 165.00 

Jurors — petit and grand 1,726.53 

Official reporter 3i7-'8o 

Bailiffs 451-50 

Board of children's guardians 59-75 

Juvenile court 444.79 

Expense of court room 147-75 

Criminal expense §5-43 

County bonds 2,800.00 

Cash on hand 33,200.82 

Total $93,895.90 



As far as can now be gleaned from the county records and state publica- 
tions, the following is a list of those who have served as county officials in 
Vermillion county from the date of its organization to and including 1912 
(dates given show when they were elected to office) : 

February i, 1824 — William Fulton. 
September 8, 1825 — Caleb Bales. 
August 14, 1828 — Charles Trowbridge. 
August 28, 1832 — William Craig. 
August 16, 1834 — Allen Stroud. 
August 13, 1838 — William Bales. 
August 8, 1842 — Charles Trowbridge. 
August 20, 1848 — Owen Craig. 
August 25, 1848 — -Eli Newlin. 
August 12, 1852 — Richard Potts. 
November 18, 1856— James H. Weller. 
November 18, i860 — Isaac Porter. 
November 18, 1864 — Harvey D. Crane. 
November 18, 1868 — Jacob S. Stephens. 
November 18, 1872 — Lewis H. Beckman. 
November 18, 1876 — Spencer H. Dallas. 
November 18, 1880 — William C. Myers. 
November 18, 1884 — John A. Darby. 
November, 1888— William Rheuby. 
November, 1890 — Michael Maher. 
November, 1892 — Josephus C. Dillow. 
November, 1894 — John M. Roberts. 
November, 1896 — John M. Roberts. 
November, 1900 — James A. Swayne. 
November, 1904 — J. H. Stephens. 


November, 1906 — Robert J. Hasty. 
November, 1908 — Morton Hollingsworth. 
November, 1910 — Steve McCown. 
November, 19 12 — Steve McCown. 


April, 1824 — James Thompson (declined to serve). 

September, 8, 1824 — William Kennedy (died in office). 

August 29, 1826 — James T. Pendleton. 

August 27, 1827 — Stephen B. Gardner. 

June 8, 1833— John W. Rush. 

April 22, 1838 — Alexander B. Florer. 

By the provisions of the new state law, the offices of recorder and clerk, 
which had, prior to 1852, been a combined office, were at that date changed, 
making two separate offices. After this change the recorders were : 

April 22, 1852 — Alexander B. Florer. 
November 2, 1861 — Andrew F. Adams. 
November 2, 1865 — Robert E. Stephens. 
November 2, 1874 — Jacob A. Souders. 
October 26, 1878 — Cornelius S. Davis. 
November 13, 1886 — Melville B. Carter. 
November, 1890 — John B. Groves. 
November, 1894 — George H. Fisher. 
November, 1898 — George H. Fisher. 
November, 1902 — Albert K. Mahan. 
November, 1906 — ^J. S. Stephens. 
November, 1910 — Frank Johnson 


The offices of county clerk and recorder were one and the same until 
1852, after which they were separate offices — see above for the men who held 
the combined offices as far as is shown now by records. 

April 22, 1852— James A. Bell. 
April 22, i860 — William E. Lixengood. 
April 22, 1868— James A. Bell. 
April 22. 1872 — William Gibson. 


April 22, 1880 — James Roberts. 
April 22, 1884— Alfred R. Hopkins. 
November, 1886— Alfred R. Hopkins. 
November, 1890 — John T. Lowe. 
November, 1894 — James C. Crane. 
November, 1898— William F. Wells. 
November, 1902 — William F. Wells. 
November, 1906 — John A. Hughes. 
November, 1910 — JManford C. Jones. 


The list is not complete from the first to 1852, hence will not be given 
down to that date. 

November 2t,. 1852 — ^Villiam Utter. 
November 23, 1854 — George H. Sears. 
November 23, 1856 — George W. English. 
November 2},. i860 — ^James A. Poland. 
November 23, 1864 — James A. Bell. 
November 23, 1865 — Samuel B. Davis. 
November 23, 1870 — James A. Poland. 
November '23, 1874 — James Osborne. 
November 23, 1876 — John H. Bogart. 
November 23, 1880 — Henry O. Peters. 
November 23, 1884 — William L. Porter. 
November, 1886 — William L. Porter. 
November, 1888— ^^'illiam B. Hood. 
November, 1890 — Peter Aikman. 
November, 1892 — Peter Aikman. 
November, 1894 — Edward B. Brown. 
November, 1896 — Edward B. Brown. 
November, 1898 — M. G. Hosford. 
November, 1900 — M. G. Hosford. 
No\ember, 1902 — H. R. Southard. 
November, 1904 — H. R. Southard. 
November, 1906 — Albert K. Mahan. 
November, 1908 — John A. Hughes. 
November, 1910 — Andrew J. Huxford. 
November, 1912 — Andrew J. Huxford. 



August 30, 1854 — Da\-id Shelby. 
June 7, 1856 — Heniy D. Washburn. 
November i8, i860 — George W. English. 
November 18, 1864 — James Tarrence. 
November 18, 1872 — Thomas Cushman. 
November 18, iSSc^Elias Pritchard. 
November, 1884 — Elias Pritchard. 
November, 1888 — ^Villiam M. Hamilton. 
November, 1892 — ^^'illiam M. Hamilton. 
November, 1896 — William P. Bell. 
November, 1900 — William P. Bell. 
November, 1904 — H, T. Payne. 
November, 1908 — H. T. Payne. 
November, 1912 — Roy Slater. 


March 6, 1824 — Greenup Castleman. 
November 11, 1826 — James Osbom. 
August 30, 1854 — John Collett. 
November 18, 1856 — Edward Griffin. 
November 2, 1857 — John Fleming. 
November 2, 1859 — David Shelby. 
November 2, i860 — B. E. Rhoades. 
November 2, 1861 — Daniel Shelby. 
No\'ember 7, 1862 — ^James M. Lacy. 
November 7, 1863 — Buskin E. Rhoades. 
No\-ember 7, 1864 — John Davis. 
October 28, 1865— Martin G. Rhoades. 
October 26, 1870 — William F. Henderson. 
October 30, 1872 — John Henderson. 
October 30, 1874 — Richard Henderson. 
October 30, 1876 — John Henderson. 
October 30, 1878 — Piatt Z, Anderson. 
November 13, 1884 — Fred Rush. 
November, 1886— Fred Rush. 
November, 1888— R. A. Parrett. 


November, 1890 — R. A. Parrett. 
November, 1892 — R. A. Parrett. 
November, 1894 — R. A. Parrett. 
November, 1896 — Fred Beard. 
November, 1898 — Fred Beard. 
November, 1900 — Robert Barnes. 
November, 1902 — Oscar T. Zell. 
November, 1904 — Carl H. Conley. 
November, 1906 — James W. Thomas. 
November, 1908 — Howard Zell. 
November, 1912 — John H. Boe. 


September 8, 1824 — Matthew Stokes. 
August 29, 1826 — Carter Hollingsworth. 
August 14, 1828 — Matthew Stokes. 
August 28, 1832 — Edward Marlow. 
August 16, 1834 — Matthew Stokes. 
August 18, 1835 — Peter J. Vandever. 
August 9, 1836 — Alfred T. Duncan. 
August 14, 1837 — William Malone. 
August 10, 1841 — Leonard P. Coleman. 
August 8. 1842 — William Malone. 
August 23, 1844- — Durham Hood. 
August 25, 1848 — Daniel C. Sanders. 
August 23, 1850 — Joseph E. Hepner. 
August 12, 1852 — Andrew Dennis. 
August 30, 1854 — ^John Vanduyn. 
November 18, 1856— Robert Elliott. 
November 2, 1857 — David Smith. 
November 18, 1858 — George Luellen. 
November 2, 1861 — John L. Howard. 
October 30, 1868 — R. Harlow Washburn. 
October 30, 1870 — Thomas Brindley. 
October 30, 1880 — Hezekiah Casebeer. 
October 30, 1882 — Thomas Brindley. 
November, 1884 — Thomas Brindley. 
November, 1886 — Thomas Brindlev. 


November, 1888 — Thomas Pirindle)-. 
November, 1890 — Thomas Brindley. 
November, 1892 — Thomas Brindley. 
November, 1894 — Robert J. Hasty. 
November, 1896 — Robert J. Hasty. 
November, 1898 — Robert J. Hasty. 
November, 1900 — RoI)ert J. Hasty. 
November, 1902 — Robert J. Hasty. 
November, 1904 — Robert J. Hasty. 
November, 1906 — Carl H. Conley. 
November, 1908— George W. Wells. 
November, 1910 — Isaac D. White. 
November, 1912 — Isaac D. White. 


This office was abolished by the code of 1852. The following were the 
associate judges down to the date of the doing away with the office : 
April 22. 1824 — ^_Iacob .Vndrick. 
February 4, 1828 — Christian Zabrisky. 
August 14, 1828 — Joseph Hain (resigned). 
April 22, 1 83 1 — John Porter. 
August 19, 1831 — Alexander Morehead. 
March 4, 1835 — Matthew Stokes (resigned). 
August 18, 1835 — Robert G. Roberts. 
July II, 1836 — Charles Johnston. 
August 9, 1836 — Joseph Shaw. 
April 22, 1838 — Alexander Morehead (resigned). 
August 27, 1838 — Joel Hume (resigned). 
August II, 1840 — Ashley Harris. 

August II, 1840 — Eli Brown (removed from county). 
October 17, 1842 — James M. Morris. 


This office was abolished with the incoming of the 1852 code in Indiana. 
Those who served while the office existed were : 
August 14, 1829 — Asaph Hill. 
January 8, 1833 — John W. Rush (resigned). 
May 6, 1833— Rezin Shelby. 
August 19, 1847 — Francis Chenoweth. 



Vermillion county was not settled until after the war of 1812 with Great 
Britain, hence had no part in that last conflict with the mother country. It 
had a few soldiers in the war \\ith Mexico from 1846 to 1848, but no regular 
organization from this county. The few who went from Vermillion county 
have long since been numbered with the dead. When the Spanish-. \nierican 
war came on in 1898, this county had no regular National Guard company, 
hence had no regular company in that decisive war with Spain. This leaves 
the military history of the county in that long-drawn-out struggle for the 
preservation of the Union — the Civil war, — and in this the county sent forth 
her full share of brave defenders. Many returned and many sleej) beneath the 
Southern skies. Vermillion county may well be proud of its Civil war record, 
both as to the volunteers it sent to the front and the amount of money it fur- 
nished for the support of the families of soldiers, etc. To not have been loyal 
to the flag, here, was to be disgraced. 


The days just before the civil conflict came on were thrilling times, and 
no better index can be given here than to c]uote from the article written in the 
Saturday Argus of Clinton, by L. O. Bishop, giving his own observations of 
those perilous days. He says : 

Our home seemed to be the storm center of the then hated abolition move- 
ment. "Uncle Tom's Cabin," Helper's "Crisis," Horace Greeley's Nezv York 
Tribune, William Lloyd Garrison's Liberator, stories of the Revolution and 
such literature made up much if not all of the inspiration of the family circle. 
My grandparents, Hiram and Sabrina Bishop, and father, Francis Marion, 
were of New Hampshire and Massachusetts birth, and we all had indoctrinated 
in us a radical belief in liberty and hatred of all forms of injustice, of wrong 
by the strong upon the weak, and of slavery especially. 

On mother's side of the family origin began in Ireland, and all her tradi- 
tions and sympathies were against slavery and oppression. And right here I 
will relate an incident that occurred at the then thriving town of Perrys\ille. 


Aly mother, who had come from Virginia before 1858, was making her home 
with the family of Ii'a Abdill. Now Mr. and Mrs. x\bdill were ardent church 
members, and they were rigid in their adherence to church laws. If there 
was any one act that was unpardonable sin, an act that would eternally damn 
the human soul, it was novel reading. Some one tried to lead my mother away 
from the straight and narrow way by placing in her hands a copy of "Uncle 
Tom's Cabin." In the girlish innocence of her heart she saw no harm in 
reading that "Life Among the Lowly," and finally became so deeply inter- 
ested in the story that one Sunday she sat and read past the dinner hour, 
utterly oblivious of the flight of time. Finally the good old mistress of the 
house broke into the room with the exclamation : "Why, Lin, what are you 
reading that holds you so ? Don't you know it is dinner time ? Some trashy- 
novel I swan!" Mother laid the book down on the bed and flew to her work. 

Mrs. Abdill, thinking she would just exercise authority over the character 
of the literature that came into her house, picked up the book in a gingerly 
way and began to turn the pages as though it were a message from Belzebub 
himself. Then she opened it at the title page and gave it a disdainful glance. 
She turned to the opening chapter and out of her curiosit\- began to peruse the 
lines in order to get some excuse to condemn the work. 

She came to the heart-breaking scene of Eliza stealing through the dark- 
ness to the humble cabin of Uncle Tom to inform him that they had lieen sold 
and she was going to run aw ay with her little babe. Thai was too much for 
the good old mother in Israel. Then she read the second chapter, and man- 
aged to get through the third safely, and the worst thing that happened to 
her was an aching heart and moistened eyes. And somehow she just wanted 
to know what was in the fourth chapter. And she read on and on and on. 
She forgot all care, all household labors, all religious rites and evening found 
the face of that dear old soul fairly glued to the thrilling pages of a story told 
by a woman that was setting the heads of the nations athrill with an abhorrence 
of sla\ery. And then Mr. Abdill, stern and firm in his convictions of religious 
duty, unbent somewhat. He, too, began to read the story. Finally it got 
such a grip on him that he took "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to bed with him and 
just lay there and read and read and burned the midnight oil until the wee 
sma' hours. 

But when at last that family had finished the story of "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin" there was a changed tone in another home. A woman's hand had done 
the work. Perrysville felt the electric thrill, as was shown a few years later 
when the very flower of her manhood marched awa)- amid waving flags and 
.shouting multitudes in response to the President's call. I only mention this 


incident to show how the quiet forces of God work in places and in ways un- 
seen and unknown of men, to prepare the wa}- for the advancement of still 
greater things. 

That work of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe set the world ablaze with 
hatred of human slaver)-. Everj'body in the Wabash valley read it, or read 
about it. Its influence was subtle, but permanent. All those earlier years 
the agitation against human slavery had been pushed throughout the North 
with all the vigor of crusaders. The wave struck Clinton. Big, impetuous, 
sympathetic Hiram Bishop one day proclaimed upon Main street that from 
that moment on, he was for the abolition of slaver)-. The immediate provo- 
cation for the exclamation was the story of a sla\'e-power outrage upon free- 
speech. The scandal spread like wild-fire all over the country. There lived 
here in Qinton a harness-maker, another old Easterner, named John Cowgill. 
He heard the awful story that a man in Clinton had come out for abolition. 

Cowgill never stopped for a second to take thought as to whether it would 
be .safe, but instantly blurted out that "Here is another one of those d — d 
black abolitionists." Cowgill's endorsement of the unpopular idea only added 
fuel to the flames, and there burst forth a storm of wrath against the two men 
such as they did not forsee. 

"What!" cried a pro-slaveryite to my grandfather one da)-, "do you want 
to free the millions of niggers in the South, and have them coming up here 
into the North and competing with honest men for jobs. Do you want your 
daughter to marr)^ a nigger? Shame on you for such scandalous sentiment." 

But the storm of anger kept rising and growing hotter and hotter. And 
then one day grandfather Bishop came home in great trepidation. He was 
deeply stirred and uneasy. Something had gone wrong. Finally the family 
was informed that he had been notified that he and John Cowgill were to be 
hung as "black abolitionists." The threat stirred up a hornet's nest in the 
village of Clinton and one dark night a posse of men gathered with ropes and 
went out to hunt up John Cowgill and Hiram Bishop and hang them to the 
first tree they could find. At the same time another company of men got 
together and sent the "Regulators" sharp notice that the moment they began 
the hanging business there would be such a demand for ropes and trees that 
the supply would soon be exhausted. The real sentiment of the jieople had 
crystallized and taken on definite, defiant form and stood between two homes 
and the agents of an angered aristocracy that was then feeling the terrific blows 
of Lincoln's logic. 


Further than stating that the cause of the Civil war was the great ques- 
tion of slavery, that had been the difificulty between the North and the South 
for many years, it will not lie necessary to go into the details, all so well known 
to the reader of history. The war came on in April, 1861, and lasted four 
long, eventful years, and was finally decided- in favor of the North and of the 
freedom of the black race on the American soil. Upon the election of Presi- 
dent Lincoln, Republican, in the fall of i860, over the split-up factions of 
Democracy, the more hot-headed people of the South rebelled and went out of 
the Union, South Carolina being the first to secede, and that state was soon 
followed by practically all south of Mason and Dixon's line. 

The part taken in this war by the citizens of Vermillion count}' is best 
known by following the history of the various companies and regiments that 
had within their ranks men from this section of Indiana. Before going into 
the history of these commands they may be enumerated as follows: The 
Fourteenth Infantry, the Sixteenth Infantry, the Eighteenth Infantry, the 
Thirty-first Infantry, the Forty-third Infantry, the Seventy-first Infantry 
(later the Sixth Ca^'alry), the Eighty-fifth Infantry, the One Hundred and 
Twenty-Ninth Infantry. 

The file of the Hoosier State, on July 31, 1861, had the following: 
"Capt. P. R. Owen, of the 'Clinton Guards," arrived home on last Saturday. 
The Captain's sojourn in 'Secessia' has improved his appearance materially. 
He left the Fourteenth Regiment at Cheat River, eleven miles from Beverly, 
Randolph county, Virginia, and reports the Clinton boys all doing well and in 
excellent spirits. 

"Captain Owen addressed between six and seven hundred persons in and 
around the Presbyterian church, on Monday night, going into detail concern- 
ing the march of the Fourteenth Regiment from Hoosierdom to the "sacred 
soil,' and the full particulars of the battle of Rich Mountain, at the conclusion 
of which three cheers were given him by the interested audience. He left 
for Virginia yesterday, accompanied by the good wishes of his numerous 
friends in this community." 

Another item in the same issue said, "Our citizens were aroused from 
their slumbers this morning by the ringing of the bell on the town hall, which 
was the signal for the departure of Captain Owen to join his gallant little 
band in Virginia. .A. large number of citizens, under command of James Mc- 
Culloch, accompanied by martial music, proceeded to the residence of Captain 
Owen. In a few minutes he mounted his horse and was escorted to the east 
end of the bridge, where the company opened ranks as he passed to the front. 
John W. Vandiver, on behalf of the citizens of Clinton, delivered a well-timed 


Speech, suited to the occasion. Captain Owen returned thanks for the hospital- 
ity and warm welcome he had received since his return, and pledged the flag 
which the fair ladies had presented the regiment should be brought back un- 
tarnished and covered with glory and victoiy, he hoped. For himself, and 
those under him, he pledged loyalty and bravery on the field of conflict. Again 
three cheers went up for the Captain and his command. The Captain then 
rode proudly away to his duties in the far-off Southland.'' 


Vermillion county was not exempt from national enemies at home and 
sympathizers with the South, though not as bad here as in other sections of 
Indiana. In his well written articles on "Reminiscences of Fifty Years Ago," 
by Editor Bishop, of the Clinton Argus, we are permitted to quote the follow- 
ing on this subject: 

By the beginning of ihe second year of the Civil war the people of Clin- 
ton, in common with many other northern communities, began to find out that 
while the great conflict was bringing out the best and noblest in men and 
women, it was also bringing to light the basest, the weakest, the most con- 
temptible and despisable elements of human nature. And reading the pages 
of histoiy, we find that it was ever thus. 

Whether this outcropping of sympathy with the slave power was due to 
natural, inherent wickedness, depravity and sheer deviltry, or whether it was 
mistaken zeal in what the actors believed to be a just cause, it is not my pur- 
pose now to discuss. The facts are bad enough, let alone hunting for theories 
upon which to condone them. 

Scarcely had the men who could be, spared gotten away than there began 
to be whispered about a mysterious brotherhood being organized all over west- 
ern Indiana and eastern Illinois. At first the name of the secret organization 
was not known. Its purpose was securely locked within the breasts of oath- 
bound members. No one knew whom to trust any more. Warnings of 
physical violence began to appear at homes, in towns and country, if certain 
parties did not let up on their offensive activity in recruiting soldiers for the 
war. Mounted men were seen riding over the country at midnight. Depre- 
dations became more and more frequent and the losses heavier. Horses and 
cattle were missing and other acts committed, all of which, combined with the 
awful struggle at the front, made home life full of fear and anxiety. It finally 
cropped out that the name of this secret brigandage was the "Knights of the 
Golden Circle." The activity of this gang was so satanic and widespread that 


for twenty years after the w ar to even hint that an_\-one liad been a member 
of it, or was in sympathy with it, \\'as enough to drive a man to poHtical 
obhvion. People scored the Knights of the Golden Circle more bitterly than 
they did the men who were fighting openly for the Confederacy. 

The condition here kept growing worse and worse, until public sentiment 
was at fever pitch. Secret service agents were detailed to hunt down the 
conspirators and bring them to trial. And some were caught in the drag-net. 
But not until after great mischief had been done. It needed but a spark to 
■ set off this magazine, and one day the explosion came in a way and a place no 
one had dreamed of. 

There was at the time of which I speak, a low frame building at the 
northeast comer of Elm and Alain streets. The Main street room was occu- 
pied by a man who kept a groggery. Licensed saloons were unknown then. 
This man had so far kept a discreet silence on the subject of the war, although 
it was generally believed that at heart he was in sympathy with the rebellion. 
Several of the boys had come home on furloughs. One of tliem walked past 
this groggery in his uniform. The proprietor flew into a passion at sight of 
him, and began to pour forth a tirade of abuse and insult. As the young 
soldier went on past, the fellow, thoroughly enraged, stepped up behind him 
and dealt the boy a blow that felled him to the street. Instantly he was upon 
his prostrate form pounding the boy and would ha\e killed him, had not an 
older brother, seeing the afifair, rushed to the boy's rescue. The incident spread 
over town like a prairie fire, and in a short time e\ery returned soldier and 
able-bodied man was at the door of the shop armed to the teeth and ready for 
an emergency. That night the doors were broken in by a rush of men and in 
a few minutes it was literally wrecked. Every bottle and jug was smashed, 
every barrel of whisky was broken in with an ax and the place had a combined 
odor of whisky, beer, wine and tobacco and sour swill that would have made a 
starch factory smell like attar of roses. The proprietor was roughly notified to 
get out of town and to do it "d — d quick, too." He got out about 12 130 in 
the morning, and a hatless man was seen running out of the end of the old toll 
bridge, headed for the south. He never returned to straighten up his room 
or business affairs. The incident had one salutary effect after all. It showed 
the country that even the old men and those not physically able to stand the 
army service were not to be trifled with and it gave the Knights of the Golden 
Circle notice to keep hands oft'. And from that time on their activities in this 
part became less. But meetings were kept up in the southwest and arrange- 
ments had been made to help Morgan carry his raid into the Noith. How- 
ever, the government's secret service brought the scheme to a sharp end. 



The company known as I of the Fourteenth Regiment of Indiana Infantry 
was formed at CHnton within less than a month from the time Fort Sumter 
had been fired upon by the rebels, at Charleston, South Cai-olina. Philander 
R. Owen was made captain of the company, and during the war was promoted 
to lievitenant-colonel, when John Lindsey was commissioned captain to suc- 
ceed him. Captain Lindse}- was enlisted as first lieutenant, and was mustered 
out June 24, 1864, on the expiration of his term; Upon his promotion to cap- 
tain. XA'illiam P. Haskell, who had been appointed second lieutenant of the 
organization, was commissioned first lieutenant to fill the \-acancy, and was 
discharged November 25, 1863, for promotion in the Fourth Regiment of 
United States Colored Troops. James M. Mitchell was promoted from the 
office of second lieutenant to that of first. The colonels of the Fourteenth, 
in succession, were Nathan Kimball, of Loogootee, who was promoted briga- 
dier-general ; William Harrow, of Vincennes, also promoted, and John Coons, 
of Vincennes, who was killed in the battle of Spottsylvania Court-House. \'ir- 
ginia. May 12, 1864. 

From the adjutant-general's and other state reports on the Indiana troops, 
it is learned that the Fourteenth Regiment was originally organized at Camp 
Vigo, near Terre Haute, in May, 1861, as one of the six regiments of state 
troops accepted for one year. Upon the call for three-year troops the regi- 
ment volunteered for that service. The new organization was mustered into 
the United States service at Terre Haute, June 7, 1861, being the finst three- 
year regiment mustered into service in the whole state of Indiana. On its 
organization there were one thousand one hundred and thirty-four men and 
officers. They left Indianapolis July 5th, fully armed and equipped, for the 
seat of war in western Virginia. They served on outpost dutv until October. 
W'hen they had their first engagement on Cheat Mountain, with Lee's army, 
losing three killed, eleven wounded and t\\ o prisoners. Their .second engage- 
ment was virtually in the same battle at Greenbrier, October 3, when they lost 
five killed and eleven wounded. 

March 23, 1862, under General Shields, Colonel Kimball and Lieutenant- 
colonel Harrow, they participated in the decisive battle of \Vinchester, where 
they lost four killed and fifty wounded, when "Sheridan was twenty miles 
away." as the poet puts it. 

Ik-sides a great deal of marching and otlier military duty, they marched 
three hundred and thirty-nine miles lietween May 12 and June 2^^. a part of 
which time most of the men were without shoes and short of rations. In fulv. 


for about twenty days, they were kept on outpost duty in the Army of the 
Potomac, coming in contact with the enemy ahnost day and night. August 
17th, they participated in that great battle of Antietam, serving in Kimball's 
brigade of French's division, it being the only portion of the line of battle that 
did not, at some time during the engagement, give way. On this account the 
men received from General French the title of "Gibraltar Brigade." For four 
hours the Fourteenth was engaged within sixty yards of the enemy's line, and, 
after exhausting sixty rounds of cartridges, they supplied themselves with 
others from the boxes of their dead and wounded companions. In this fight 
the men were reduced in number from three hundred and tw'enty to one hun- 
dred and fifty. Subsequently, they were still further reduced at the battle 
of Fredericksburg. 

April .28, 1863, being a little recruited by some of the wounded reco\er- 
ing, they were at the front in the famous battle of Chancellorsville, as well as 
at the desperate battle of Gettysburg, the turning-point of the Civil war. After 
that battle they engaged in several severe fights, and some of the men re- 
enlisted, December 24., 1863. This truly noble, brave regiment — what was 
left of it — was finally mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, July 12, 1865. If 
Vermillion county had not been represented by another regiment in the Civil 
strife, it \AOuld have reason to be proud of its soldiery. 


This regiment was organized May, 1861, as a one-vear regiment, con- 
taining some volunteers from Vermillion county. Pleasant A. Hackleman, of 
Rushville, was the first colonel, and on his promotion to the brigadier-general- 
ship. Thomas J- Lucas, of Lawrenceburg, was placed as colonel. Horace S. 
Crane, of Clinton, this county, was mustered in as second lieutenant of Com- 
pany I, and mustered out with the regiment as sergeant. 

May 2j. 1862, this regiment was re-organized for the three-year service, 
but was not mustered in until "August 19th. On the 30th of the month last 
named, it took part in the battle of Richmond, Kentucky, losing two hundred 
men killed and wounded and six hundred prisoners! .\fter the defeat the 
prisoners were paroled and sent to Indianajiolis, and were exchanged Novem- 
ber 1st. The regiment afterward participated in the \'icksburg campaign, and 
did great duty in Texas and at Arkansas Post, where it was first to plant the 
flag of the Union within the fort. Its loss was seventy-seven men, killed and 
wounded. In April it participated in a successful engagement at Port Gibson, 
and during the ensuing several months it was engaged in tlie siege of ^'icks- 


burg, in which it lost sixty men, killed and wounded. Later, it had several 
skirmishes with the rebels in Louisiana, and, in the expedition up Red river, 
sixteen engagements. The regiment was mustered out at New Orleans, June 
30, 1865. 


Company C of the Eighteenth Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, from 
Indiana, was made up wholly of Vermillion county's noble sons, and all its 
officers in the roster are credited to Newpoi-f. John C. Jenks was promoted 
from captain to major; James A. Bell, from first lieutenant to captain; Josiah 
Campbell and William B. Hood, from private to captain ; Harvey D. Crane and 
Oscar B. Lowrey, from sergeants to first lieutenants ; William H. Burtut was 
promoted from private to first lieutenant; William M. Mitchell, from private 
to second lieutenant; William W. Zener from first sergeant to second lieu- 
tenant, 'and then to adjutant; Jasper Nebeker was second lieutenant and died 
in the service; Robert H. Nixon and John Anderson were sergeants; and 
corporals included Samuel B. Davis, soon disabled by disease, and later well- 
known throughout Indiana as the talented, fearless Republican editor of the 
Hoosier State, at Newport, this county. John F. Stewart, James O. Boggs, 
Alonzo Hostetter, Aaron Hise, James Henry, Charles Gerresh and John A. 
Henry were also corporals. John F. Leighton, of the recruits, was pro- 
moted from the ranks to the position of corporal. Hugh H. Conley, another 
recruit, subsequently became a prominent citizen of Vermillion county. 

The first colonel of the Fighteenth Regiment was Thomas Pattison, of 
Aurora, and upon his resignation, June 3, 1862, Henry D. Washburn, of New- 
port, succeeded him. The latter was brevetted brigadier-general December 
15, 1864, and mustered out July 15, 1865. The first service rendered by this 
regiment, which was mustered in August 16, 1861, was in Fremont's march to 
Springfield, Missouri. Soon afterward, at Black Water, it participated in the 
capture of a large number of prisoners. In March, 1862, it was engaged in 
the fierce contest at Pea Ridge, where its brigade saved from capture another 
brigade, and the Eighteenth re-captured the guns of the Peoria Artillery. 
After several smaller engagements in Arkansas it returned to southeastern 
Missouri, where it was on duty during the ensuing winter. The following 
spring it was transferred to Grant's army, and, as part of the division com- 
manded by General Carr, participated in the flanking of the enemy's position 
at Grand Gulf, and May ist, in the battle of Port Gibson, captured a stand of 
colors and some artillery; also on the 15th. at Champion's Hill, and on the 
17th, at Black River Bridge. From the 19th till July 4tli, it was employed in 


the famous siege of Vicksburg, where, ckiring the assauU, it was the first regi- 
ment to plant its colors on the enemy's works. 

After the capitulation of Vicksburg, July 4, 1863, the regiment moved to 
New Orleans, and during the autumn following participated in the campaign 
up the Teche river and in the operations in that part of Louisana. November 
I2th it embarked for Texas, where on the 17th it was engaged in the capture 
of Mustang Island, and also in the successful attack on Fort Esperanza on the 
26th. After a furlough in the winter and spring of 1864, it joined General 
Butler's forces at Bermuda Hundred, in July, where it had several severe 
skirmishes. August 19th, it joined General Sheridan's Army of the Shenan- 
doah. In the campaign that followed, the regiment participated in the battle 
of Opequon, losing fifty-four killed and wounded ; also in the pursuit of Early, 
seven killed and wounded; and in the battle of Cedar Creek, October 19th, 
losing fifty-one killed and wounded, besides thirty-five prisoners. 

From the middle of January, 1865, for three months, the Eighteenth w^s 
assisting in building fortifications at Savannah. May ist, it was the first to 
raise the Stars and Stripes at Augusta, Georgia. The regiment was mustered 
out August 28, 1865. 


This regiment had a number of volunteers from Vermillion county. It 
was organized at Terre Haute. September 15, 1861, for three years service. 
The colonels were: Charles Cruft, of Terre Haute; John Osborn, of Bowl- 
ing Green; John T. Smith, of Bloomfield, and James R. Hollowell, of Belle- 
more. It participated in the decisive battle of Fort Donelson ; was in the bat- 
tle of Shiloh, where it lost twenty-two killed, one hundred and ten wounded 
and ten missing; in the siege of Corinth; was stationed at various places in 
Tennessee ; was engaged in the battle of Stone River and Chattanooga, of the 
Atlanta campaign, Nashville, etc., and was on duty in the Southwest until late 
in the autumn of the year 1865, many months after the termination of the war. 


Vermillion county sent out Company I of this regiment. Samuel J. Hall 
was captain from the date of muster, October 9, 1861, to Januarv 7, i86s, the 
close of his enlistment, and then Robert B. Sears was captain until the regi- 
ment was mustered out. He was promoted from the position of corporal to 
that of first lieutenant, and finally to that of captain. David A. Ranger, of 


Toronto, this count}-, was first lieutenant; William L. Martin, of Newport, 
was first the second and then the first lieutenant. George W. Shewmaker 
was second lieutenant for the first seven or eight months. John Lovelace was 
first a private and then second lieutenant. 

George K. Steele, of Rockville, was colonel of the regiment until January 
16, 1862; William E. McLean, of Terre Haute, until May 17, 1865, and John 
C. Major, from that date till the mustering out of the regiment. 

The first engagement had by this regiment was at the siege of New Ma- 
drid and Island No. Ten. It was attached to Commodore Foote's gun-boat fleet 
in the reduction of Fort Pillow, serving sixty-nine days in that campaign. It 
was the first Union regiment to land in the city of Memphis, and, with the 
Fifty-sixth Indiana, constituted the entire garrison, holding that place for two. 
weeks, until reinforced. In July, 1862, the Forty-Third was ordered up 
White River, Arkansas, and later to Helena. At the battle at this place, a 
year afterward, the regiment was especially distinguished, alone supporting a 
battery that was three times charged by the enemy, repulsing each attack, and 
finally capturing a full Rebel regiment larger in point of numbers than its own 

It aided in the capture of Little Rock, where, in January, 1864, the regi- 
ment re-enlisted, when it numbered four hundred. Next it was in the battle 
of Elkin's Ford, Jenkin's Ferry, Camden and Mark's Mills, near Saline river. 
At the latter place, April 30th, the brigade to which it was attached, while 
guarding the train of four hundred wagons returning from Camden to Pine 
Bluflfs, was furiously attacked by six thousand of General Marmaduke's cav- 
alry. The Forty-third lost nearly two hundred in killed, wounded and miss- 
ing in this engagement. Among the captured were one htmdred and four re- 
enlisted veterans. 

After this, the regiment came home on a furlough, but while enjoying 
this vacation they volunteered to go to Frankfort, Kentuck}', which was then 
being threatened by Morgan's raiders. They remained there until the Rebel 
forces left central Kentucky. For the ensuing year it guarded the Rebel 
prisoners at Camp Morton, at Indianapolis. After the war ended, it was 
among the first regiments mustered out, this taking place at Indianapolis, June 
14^ 1865. Of the one hundred and sixty-four men captured from the regiment 
in Arkansas and taken to the Rebel prison at Tyler, Texas, twelve died. 



Company A of this regiment was exclusively from Vermillion county. 
Andrew J. Dowdy, of Clinton, was captain; Robert Bales, of Clinton, first 
lieutenant: William O. Xorris, of the .same place, second lieutenant, killed at 
the battle of Richmond, Kentucky: Joseph Hasty, from Newport, succeeded 
him as second lieutenant; first sergeant, William O. Washburn, of Clinton: 
sergeants, Francis D. Weber, of Newport; Johnson Malone, Alexander M. 
Steats and George W. Scott, of Clinton; corporals, Joseph Brannan, Richard 
M. Rucker, Lewis H. Beckman, Larkin Craig, Daniel Buntin, Reuben H. 
Clearwaters, John L. Harris and Charles Blanford; musicians, George W. 
Harbison and James Simpson. Most of these were credited to Clinton, though 
some of them, as well as privates which were credited to Clinton, and some to 
Newport, were residents of Helt township. 

The colonel of this regiment was James Biddle, of Indianapolis. At first 
this regiment was organized as infantry, at Terre Haute, in July and August, 

1862. Its first duty was to repel the invasion of Kirby Smith in Kentucky. 
August 30th, it was engaged in the battle of Richmond, Kentucky, with a loss 
of two hundred and fifteen killed and wounded and three hundred and forty- 
sev^n prisoners. After the latter were exchanged, four hundred men and 
officers of the regiment were sent to Muldraugh's Hill to guard trestle work, 
and on the following day they were attacked by a force of four thousand 
Rebels under the command of Gen. John H. Morgan, and after an engagement 
of an hour and a half were surrounded and captured. The remainder of the 
regiment then returned to Indianapolis, where they remained until August 26, 

1863. '^ - -: _ 
During the ensuing autumn, with two additional companies, L and M, 

they were organized as cavalry, and were sent into eastern Tennessee, wfiere 
they engaged in the siege of Knoxville and in the operations against General 
Longstreet, on the Holston and Clinch rivers, losing many men in killed and 
wounded. May 11, 1864, they joined Gen. \A'. T. Sherman's army in front of 
Dalton, Georgia, where it was assigned to the ca\alr}- corps of the Army of the 
Ohio, commanded by General Stoneman. They engaged in the battle of 
Resaca, also Cassville. Kenesaw Mountain, etc., aided in the capture of Ala- 
toona Pass, and was first to take possession of and raise the flag upon Lost 
Mountain. In Stoneman's raid to Macon. Georgia, the Sixth Ca\■alr^■ lost 
one himdred and sixty-six men. 

Returning to Na.sliville for another equipment, it aided General Rousseau 


in defeating Forrest at Pulasl<i. Tennessee, September 27th, and pursued him 
into Alabama. In the engagement at Pulaski the regiment lost twenty-three 
men. December 15th and i6th, it participated in the battle at Nashville, and 
after the repulse of Hood's army, followed it some distance. In June, 1865, 
a portion of the men were mustered out of service. The remainder was con- 
solidated with the residual fraction of the Fifth Cavalry, constituting the Sixth 
Cavalry, and they were mustered out the following September. 


Company D of this regiment was made up from the southern portion 
of Vermillion county. William Reeder, of Rockville, was captain until June 
10, 1863, and thenceforward Caleb Bales, of Toronto, was captain, being pro- 
moted from the rank of second lieutenant. The vacancy thus made was filled 
by Elisha Pierce of Clinton, who was promoted from the office of first ser- 
geant. The sergeants were James W. Taylor, of Toronto : William A. Rich- 
ardson, John A. C. Norris and David Mitchell, of Clinton ; and the corporals 
were Brazier E. Henderson, Ben White, Samuel Craig, James Andrews, 
Valentine Foos, Harrison Pierce, Joseph Foos and Wesley A. Brown. The 
musicians were Andre\\- J. Owen and John A. Curry. 

The colonels of this regiment were John P. Baird of Terre Haute, to July 
20, 1864, and Alexander R. Crane, of the same city, until the mustering out of 
the regiment. 

This regiment was organized at Terre Haute September 2, 1862. Its first 
engagement was with Forrest, with Col. John Coburn's brigade, March 5, 
1863, when the whole brigade was captufed. The men were marched to Tulla- 
homa, and then transported to Libby Prison at Richmond, amid much sufifer- 
ing, many dying along the route. Twenty-six days after their incarceration 
the men were exchanged, and were stationed at Franklin, Tennessee, where 
they fought in skirmishes until Bragg's army fell back. The following sum- 
mer, fall and winter the Eighty-fifth remained in the vicinity of Murfreesboro, 
guarding the railroad from Nashville to Chattanooga. It took part in every 
important engagement in the Atlanta campaign, being in the terrible charge 
upon Resaca, and in the battles at Cassville, Dallas Woods, Golgotha Church, 
Gulp's Farm and Peach Tree Greek. At the last named place it did deadly 
work among the Rebel forces. 

This regiment followed Sherman in his famous march to the sea, and 
back through the two Carolinas, engaging in numerous battles. At Averas- 
boro it was the directing regiment, charging the Rebel works through an open 


field, but suffered greatly. It destroyed a half mile of railroad in forty min- 
utes time, corduroying many miles of wagon road, and after a twenty-mile 
march one day it worked hard all night making a road up a steep, muddy 
bluff, for which they were highly complimented by Generals Sherman and 
Slocum, who had given directions for the work and were eye witnesses to its 
execution. After several other important improvements, it had the pleasure 
of looking as proud victors upon Libby Prison, where so many of them had 
suffered in captivity in 1862. Marching on to Washington, D. C, it was 
mustered out of service June 12, 1865. The remaining recruits were trans- 
ferred to the Thirty-third Indiana Regiment, who were mustered out July 21st, 
at Louisville, Kentucky. 


Of this gallant regiment. Company K was from Vermillion county, and 
it was recruited from the tenth congressional district during the winter of 
1863-64, rendezvoused at Michigan City, and was mustered into service March 
I, 1864, with Charles Case, of Fort Wayne, as colonel, and Charles A. 
Zollinger, of the same city, as lieutenant-colonel. Of Company K, John Q. 
Washburn, of Newport, was captain ; Joseph Simpson, of Highland, first lieu- 
tenant, and the second lieutenants in succession were Thomas C. Swan, of 
Clinton, Joseph Simpson, of Highland, William F. Eddy, of Warsaw, and 
James Roberts, of Clinton. Henry J. Howard, of Toronto, was sergeant. 
Corporals, Jasper Hollingsworth, Granville Gideon and John W. Nixon, of 
Vermillion county, with members from other counties. After much long 
marching, the first battle in which this regiment took part was the severe con- 
test at Resaca, opening the celebrated campaign of Atlanta. This was a great 
victory for the Union troops. The next battle was that at New Hope Church. 
Before and after this, however, there was almost constant skirmishing, in very 
rainy weather. July 19, 1864, the regiment was engaged in a severe fight 
near Decatur, Georgia, where they lost heavily. Soon afterward they were 
in the fight at Strawberry Run, where they lost twenty-five men, but enabled 
General Hascall to turn a position which our forces, a brigade of General 
Schofield's corps, had failed to turn the day before. Then on until mid-winter 
the regiment was kept guarding and engaging in skirmishes. November 29th, 
occurred the battle of Franklin, where the enemy were repulsed with great 
loss. During the latter portion of the winter they were marching and battling 
near the coast of Virginia and North Carolina, and engaged in the battle of 
Wise's Forks, where the enemy met with signal disaster. The regiment was 


engaged in provost duty about Raleigh during the summer of 1865, and on 
August 29th was mustered out of serAnce. 


The foregoing is but an outHne of what transpired at home and in the 
Southland during the years of that long-drawn-out war, in which brother took 
up arms against brother, and in which family ties were broken asunder, never 
to be reunited again. While the soldiers above mentioned were doing their 
part bra\'ely and well, in field and on march, those remaining at home were 
busy at raising funds with which to support and maintain the families of the 
volunteers, as well as in numerous ways help the general government to carry 
on the war, which all loyal patriots believed was a just war. Every town- 
ship in this county had its aid societies and relief funds. Men and women 
were alive to the pressing demands for hospital supplies for the men who had 
been sent to the front. The county commissioners, from time to time, IcA'ied 
taxes for the furtherance of the cause in the field. Bounties were freely paid 
and each ])atriot vied with his neighbor in seeing how much he could do toward 
relieving suffering at home and in the tented field. 

It is not possible to give a complete list of the soldiers from this county, 
and the larger part of those who donned the loyal blue, from 1861 to 1865, 
have long since answered the last roll-call, some being asleep under Southern 
skies, while the remainder are buried in home cemeteries and their graves are 
cared for and tenderly decorated with the return of each Memorial day. Be 
it said with a just pride, that Vermillion countv was loyal to the Union cause. 
Its sacrifice was indeed great, but its victory was an eternal gain — an everlast- 
ing inheritance to the oncoming generations who shall here reap the just re- 
ward of liberty and union. 

The records show that Vermillion county raised funds in Civil war days 
as follows : 

Bounties $ 76,032 

Relief for Soldiers' Families 41,839 

Miscellaneous Funds 086 

Total $119,547 



The following paragraphs have been extracted from the private diary 
kept by Edwin C. Bishop, of Clinton, who was in the Engineering Corps of the 
Union arni}-, and a member of the Eighteenth Indiana Infantry. These are 
chiefly paragraphs of letters that he wrote home to his parents and brothers, 
and throw much light on the inside life and private opinions of soldiers who 
marched and fought in the Rebellion from 1861 to 1865. Finally this brave 
man sacrified his life at Cedar Creek, near the close of the conflict. We are 
indebted to L. O. Bishop, of the Saturday Argus (a nephew), for the manu- 
script transcript from which the following is quoted : 

"Springfield, Missouri, Nov. 5, 1861. 
■'Friends at Home : — Since I wrote to you last there have been some stir- 
ring times out here. I did not think then that within three hours we would 
be on a forced march ; but such was the case. We received orders to march 
immediately and started just at sunset. After marching twelve miles we 
stopped for the night, built our camp fires and slept by them. The next morn- 
ing we took up our line of march and stopped at eleven o'clock to get break- 
fast. We cooked all our provisions and filled our haversacks, and got ready 
for a hard march and a fight. We had halted in a prairie and \\hen we 
started the long line of soldiers showed to a good advantage ; it was a nice little 
army of about seventeen thousand men. It was enough to make one feel like 
fighting to see so many in one line going onward to battle. In the morning 
the news came that we would have to cut our way through the Rebel army to 
Fremont; upon hearing this the enthusiasm became very great and the soldiers 
would ]n-ess forward and 'Forward' was the cry. A\'e got to within se\en 
miles of Springfield that day and stopped to rest. After that we went to 
within a half mile of town, expecting to begin the fight in the morning. But 
we were disappointed, for in the morning Fremont went past and camped 
with his guards and Indians on the road to St. Louis, he having been super- 
seded, and we found that Price was not near here. There is now an army of 
fifty thousand men here, who all expected to fight when they got here. We 
are under the command of General Hunter. We do not know, but many be- 
lieve that we will be sent to 'Old Kaintuck.' Our tents came up today, so we 
are at home again. We have not got over our disappointment of not finding 
Price, after running all o\-er the state. The dirty skunk has got awav without 
our men getting a chance to see him. It is most time to get dinner and I will 


have to quit before long. I gness I shall do some washing this afternoon. 
Lon is Avashing now. Give my respects to all, 

"Ed. C. Bishop." 

"Little Sugar Creek, Ark., March 12, 1862. 
"Dear Father : — I suppose it is. with feelings of anxiety you receive this 
letter, for I suppose you heard of our great fight, ^^'hen I wrote last I was 
on the picket, and that evening I was relieved and went to camp. That night 
about twelve o'clock we were ordered to cook two days' rations. The next 
morning we packed up our things and sent the wagons back about one mile. 
Then we went onto a hill not far from our camp and commenced throwing up 
earth-works. Our battery and the Eighth Regiment were on a hill to our left. 
That evening we heard the firing between Siegel and the Rebels. We had 
been fighting on a retreat from a cross hollow. The next morning we went to 
our wagons to cook some rations ; but were soon ordered back to our breast- 
works ; then we were ordered to the rear, as the enemy had come up on that 
side. By this time the firing had become very heavy and sharp. We came 
up in front of the enemy's right wing, composed of their best troops under 
McCulloch : they had Indians. I cannot tell you in words so that you will 
understand, so I will tell you some, and draw a plan of the field, ^^^^ite's 
brigade, composed of the Thirty-seventh and Fifty-ninth Illinois Regiments 
went in first, but were driven back, and then by a skillful movement the Rebels 
were driven back and our battery saved. This was the first day of the battle 
we were in ; I was not in the second day ; I got lost from the company in the 
night and was put on guard over the prisoners. I have not heard the loss on 
either side ; but I think ours was about one hundred and twenty killed and two 
hundred wounded. I understand the Rebels left from two hundred and fifty 
to three hundred on the field. We have about three hundred prisoners. The 
Rebels left the field in a hurry, leaving several hundred stand of arms along the 

"Good Bye for this time. 

"E. C. B." 

"Helena, Ark,, August 30, 1862. 
"Friends at Home : — I am as well as could be expected and the company 
is in good spirits. I understand that five boats are to start for White river 
this morning. I do not know the object of the expedition; it may be a scout- 
ing party, perhaps it is going to gather cotton. It is nmiored that the Rebels, 


fort}- thousand strong, are advancing on this place, and these Ijoats may be 
sent up White river to keep them from crossing, but 1 do not beheve that there 
are that many Rebels in this state ; however, if there are that many, I do not 
believe they can whip us. They are building some fortifications here which 
are to mount thirty-two-pounders. This seems to me to be a good place for a 
fortification, as the river can be seen for a distance of eleven miles down and 
four or five up stream, from a ridge that runs through town and it is separated 
from the blufif by a hollow. The ground is such that a Imttery could not 
charge upon, so the only way to dislodge troops would be to shell them or 
starve them out, either of which would be hard to do, as long as the river is 
kept open. I understand that this is to be the military capital instead of Little 
Rock. We are having very good times here, for since it has come to be the 
policy to subsist on the country in w hich the war is carried on, the boys have 
most everything this country is able to raise. No longer are the corn fields 
guarded, so that 'roasting ears' can be had without paying two prices or run- 
ning the risk of getting into the guard-house. There is an old 'secesh' living 
in our camp or rather it was built around him. When we came here he had 
lots of bee hives ; there are none now ; but that is all right for he gave two 
thousand five hundred dollars to build gun-boats and was tanning leather for 
old Jeff Thompson ; but the leather was not finished, so our men are having 
him finish it for us. At first taking wagons and other property belonging to 
the Rebels was a low thing; now it is the only thing that can be done. I have 
found out how the thing worked ; every Rebel was out fighting against us, 
while the darkies raised corn; we will have to stop their supplies, and then 
give them a whipping. 

"Yours, E. C. B." 

"November 21, 1862. 
"Dear Friends: — The sentence for sleeping on one's post is to. forfeit 
one month's pay ; march ten days, four hours a day, in front of the colonel's 
quarters, wearing a head-dress barrel bearing this inscription, T slept on my 
post.' " 

"Patterson, November 18, 1862. 
"Dear Friends at Flome : — I will commence this letter tonight. I re- 
ceived those things you sent me, and the long letter; I tell you it does a soldier 
good to get long letters. Captain Bell brought some good butter from home 

and also a cooked chicken, which with the bread you sent me made a good 
breakfast: a real "Hoosier breakfast.' The bread tasted home-like, and the 


can of peaches which we ate for dinner was excellent — all acknowledged them 
the best they had eaten for a long time. Captain brought a can of peaches and 
I am going to make a pie of them. Now you may laugh, when I speak of 
cooking, but I tell you I can cook some. I and, Lon went out of camp to try 
our rifles ; for a long time I was busy cleaning my gun. You may think half 
a day a long time to be cleaning a gun ; but it is as bright as a new silver dollar 
all over. I have a splendid rifle ; it is a Springfield rifle and I would not take 
in trade for it one of the much boasted Enfield rifles, ^^^hile we were out I 
saw a squirrel, and thought I would like to try my gun on him; so Lon went 
around the tree and made a noise and that scared the squirrel around to my 
side of the tree and I shot him. A\'ell I must quit and go to bed : perhaps you 
would like to know about my bed. Well, we get corn stalks and put them on 
the ground and over them are spread two blankets and our oil cloth. Then we 
have three blankets over the three of us. 

"There were some five or six thousand Rebels building winter quarters 
on Black river, but we went down and shelled them; thev run, lea\ing,all be- 
hind, and have not been seen or heard of since. 



"January i, 1863. 
"Today another year is ushered into Time's great circle ; another year 
to witness the unhappy state of our country. Shall this year see the end of 
this great war? I see by looking around me that all are of the same opinion 
and mind. None wish to see '63' grow old and die without seeing the traitor 
meet his doom ; without seeing the American eagle sit in peace upon the pal- 
metto undisturbed by the serpent that crawls at its foot. How different the 
scenes of today and former New Year days, when all was peace. Then the 
cannon's loud roar broke upon the ear telling only of joy and mirth; now that 
roar speaks of bloodshed and every boom sinks deeper into the heart as Ave 
think of the souls then sent and perhaps transported to meet their God. Then 
proud hearts that ha\-e long since gone to rest engaged in the merrv dance and 
tried to lose sight of time for a little while. Those that are left are soldiers, 
tossed on the battle-stained waves of war ; they are changed ; time and hard- 
ships of a soldier's life have made their impressions. The once light, loving 
heart has been turned to stone, by constantly coming in contact with scenes 
of strife. "Yours, 

"E. C. B." 


"Milligan Bend, April 3, 1863. 
"Friends : — I do not feel nuicli like writing. I came into mj- quarters 
last night and found those things you sent me had come. We got them up 
from the landing about ten o'clock and went to work to see what there was. 
Most of the things were spoiled; some cakes were good; but all the bread and 
pies were spoiled. Some of the green apples were good; they were quite a 
treat, for they are from fifteen to twenty-five cents apiece here now. The 
boots you sent were too large. Some of the furloughed boys are fast coming 
back into camp. We are fifteen miles from Vicksburg and twenty-five by 
river. No news from Yazoo, and we do not know what is going on around 
us, as much as you do there. We can hear the shelling at Vicksburg, when- 
ever there is any going on there. Our position is at the siege as follows : 
First United States Infantry, Eighth, Thirty-Third and Ninty-Ninth Illinois, 
a batterv' of six pieces, siege guns and all stationed at the mouth of the canal 
opposite Vicksburg. We are in the Fourteenth Division and the Thirteenth 
Army Corps; our brigade is under General Baxter. I found a piece of poetiy 
in the box you sent entitled 'Come Home." I say : 

How gladly would I do it, 

And stav with my friends for e\'er. 
But first let us down with the Rebels, 

That our Union are trying to se\er. 

"Edwin C." 

"Near Vicksburg, ]\Iiss., June 12. 1863. 
"My Dear Sister : — I will send you a few lines to let you know I am ali^■e 
and well. We had a battle at Champion's Hill. The Rebels run, as usual, 
and we had a fine time overhauling their knapsacks, which they left at Edwards 
Station. We all got clean clothes, tobacco, writing paper, etc. This sheet is 
one I got ; captured enough to last for a while. We took in two or three regi- 
ments at the ridge; they stuck cotton in their guns and bayonets, when the 
charge began, and turned and run for the bridge. I have not found any good 
place from which I can make a map of this field. I went to a place and w-as 
trying to make a map of the field, but was shot at several times, so I left. 
The Rebels do not fire much. They opened a few guns this morning, but soon 
found that place too hot for them. Deserters come in all the time ; they all 
tell different tales, and we do not know which to believe. But I guess they 
have hard times; one of the Iowa boys gave a deserter his breakfast, and he 
ate four crackers, one loaf of bread, a lot of potatoes and ham. and drunk five 


cups of strong coffee. He told General Lawler that he had had but little for a 
week. We hear they can hold out fifteen days. The boys are in fine spirits. 
When they want a little exercise, they take their guns and go out to the rifle 
pits and take a few shots at the Rebels, if they can see one to shoot at. I have 
sent several dispatches to them to get in. What 'Rebs' are in the city are 
surely ours, unless they dig out under the hill. I guess after we get this place 
we will have to go over and help the boys in the Army of the Potomac ; poor 
fellows, never were intended to fight, and not in the least frightened about 
Johnson. We will run him all over the state for a breakfast spell and take 
him in for dinner. I am now about four feet in the ground and feel perfectly 
safe. Write soon to yours, 




Article 7. section j, of the constitution of Indiana, declared that: 
"Knowledge and learning generally diffused throughout a community, heing 
essential to the preservation of a free goxernment, it shall be the duty of the 
government by its General Assembly to encourage, by all suitable means, 
moral, intellectual, scientific and agricultural improvements, and to prox'ide liy 
law for a general and uniform system of common schools, wherein tuition shall 
be without charge and ecjually open to all." 

No state or territory has manifested an equally profound and intelligent 
interest in the subject of education as has Indiana, commencing with the terri- 
torial existence in 1800. While the Congress of the United States, under 
the controlling influence of Jefiferson, had been wise and far-seeing on this 
subject, yet it is a fact that in the organization of the new territories and states 
that body was more or less influenced by the men who approached Congress 
in the interests of the new municipalitv — men who were identified with it. 
.And according to whom these men were and the suggestion that they would 
urge, would be many of the provisions in the enabling acts on the subject of 

Lilieral provision had been made by the general go\"ernment for poi)ular 
education in all the Northwestern states. Before any of these states had been 
formed, while the general territory in which the}- were embraced was a wilder- 
ness, inhabited almost exclusively by savages. Congress, on the 20th of May, 
1785, passed an ordinance reserving every sixteenth section of land in the 
■whole territory northwest of the river Ohio for the maintenance of public 
schools. Two years later, in the famous ordinance of 1787, it was declared 
that "religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good goxernment 
and the happiness of inankind, schools, and the means of education, shall be 
forever encouraged." 

In Indiana there was from the first a class of public-spirited men who 

were the friends and earnest advocates of popular education. In 1807 an act 

was passed by the General Assembly of the territory, for the incorporation of a 

universitv at A'incennes. The first board of trustees of this uni\ersit\' named 



in tlie incorporating act were men of large and liberal ideas of education. 
They reflected the true spirit of the framers of the ordinance of 1787. In the 
preamble to the incorporating act it was declared that "the independence, 
happiness and energy of every republic depended (under the influence of the 
destinies of heaven) upon the wisdom, virtue, talents and energy of its citizens 
and rulers ; that science, literature and the liberal arts contributed in an eminent 
degree to improve those qualities and acquirements, and that learning had ever 
been found the ablest advocate of genuine liberty, the best supporter of rational 
religion, and the source oi the only solid and im|:)erishable glory which nations 
can acquire." 

The only acts passed with regard to the school lands b\- the Territorial 
Legislature were those of October 26, i8o8, and December 14, i8io. The 
former invested the several courts of common pleas in the territory with full 
power to lease the sections of land reserved for the use of slIiooIs in the several 
counties, restricting the leases to five years and making it obligatory upon the 
lessees to clear ten acres upon each quarter section. The latter act authorized 
the courts of common pleas to appoint trustees of the school lands in the sev- 
eral counties, and prohibited the wasting of sugar trees and timber thereon. 

On January 9, 182 1, the General Assembly appointed a committee to 
draft and report to the next Legislature a bill providing for a general system 
of education, with instructions to guard particularly against "any distinction 
between the rich and the poor." This committee drew up the first general 
school laws of Indiana. The space allotted us forbids even a catalogue of 
the various enactments of the General Assembly on the subject of the public 
schools since the organization of the state government. Almost every session 
has witnessed the passage of either general or special laws pertaining to educa- 
tion in some form, either to the common schools or the incorporation of semi- 
naries, academies, colleges, universities or public libraries ; and the successive 
governors of the state have favored the interests of pojmlar education. 

Vermillion county has always taken much care to provide the best schools 
possible, both public and private. The last log cabin school house was super- 
seded more than forty years ago by the more modern frame and brick build- 
ings. A quarter of a century ago this county had school buildings as follows : 
Clinton township, brick, three; frame, nine. Helt township, brick, three; 
frame, twenty. Vermillion township, brick, one; frame, tvvehe. Eugene 
township brick, one: frame, seven. Highland township, brick, one: frame, 
eleven. Total, nine brick buildings; fifty-nine frame. 

In 1887 the estimated value of school houses and lots was $59,000; of 
school apparatus, globes, maps, etc., about $4,000. Number of teachers 


employed in tlie count}-, eighty-fi\e. The nnniljer of children of school age 
(from six to twenty-one years) in 1886 was 4,291, and the enrollment in 
the schools of the county was 3.467. or about eighty per cent. 

In Clinton township the first school house was a log structure of the 
most primitive type, located at Davidson's hill, one mile northeast of Clinton. 
There the only school books were the English reader, Webster's elementary 
speller and the New Testament, with now and then a copy of Daboll's arith- 
metic. Since then a remarkable growth has been seen with the ushering in 
and carrying forward of the free public school system, which many in the 
state bitterly opposed at the time, because of their lack of wisdom. 

Two or more attempts have been made to locate special educational in- 
stitutions, including the one just before the Civil war, known as Alyrani G. 
Towsley's Military Institute and the Farmer's College, which went dcjwn on 
account of the coming on of the Rebellion in 1861. A portion of the large 
frame building that was to be used permanently for that institution was 
afterward converted into an opera house, and its wings into dwellings. 

In Helt township the first school was taught prior to 1830, on the prairie. 

Newport, the county seat, has always been a good school town, and kept 
abreast with the times in every advance made in improved educational 
methods. In pioneer days, according to the state law, a county seminary was 
established here, as in all other county-seat towns. It flourished until the 
going out of the old pri\ate or subscription schools and the introduction of 
that better plan of the present common school, the free school system, when it 
was converted into a graded school about 1832. The building Avas a lirick 
structure. Additions were made to it from time to time and it was still in 
use in the nineties. Its location was on the heights overlooking the romantic 
scenes of the charming Little Vermillion river. Two of the additions were 
made by the town of Newport at an expense of one thousand dollars. The 
town purchased the property from the township, when the municipal it\- took 
it o\er and has had charge of the same since 1886. 

The advancement made in public school affairs in this county with the 
passing of a half century are indeed very great. This change is noted the 
more vividly, when one contemplates the old log school house down by the 
creek, or out on the prairies, in which were taught the simplest rudiments of 
an education, under the hardships of a slab seat, a puncheon floor, and a fire- 
place for heating the same in the long, cold winter day. It goes without 
saying that children of today ought to master their studies more rapidh- and 
better than did their grandparents, and thank a higher order of Christian 
civilization for the most excellent school system that now obtains from one 
end of the country to the other. While there were many noble, brainv, well- 


educated men of the Hoosier state who attended these pioneer schools, the 
larger per cent, of all those who attended those early-day schools never 
achieved any great educational accomplishments. All praise to the present 
public school system. 


The subjoined statistics will show the condition of the schools in the 
various townships in Vermillion county, according to the superintendent's 
annual report for 191 2, including the items of teachers, buildings, wages, 
apportionments, etc. : 

School Male Female. Daily Wages. Appor- 

Houses. Teachers. Teachers. Male. Female, tionment. 

Clinton township 14 5 21 $3.10 $2.40 $44,031 

Eugene township 5 2 6 3.25 2.84 8,620 

Helt township 13 5 21 4,00 3.12 32,509 

Highland township 10 5 11 4.00 3.00 13.032 

Vermillion township 11 3 7 3.30 2.79 10,781 

The numl^er of graduates from the high school last year was : Helt 
township, 1 1 ; Perrysville, 9 ; Cayuga, 3 ; Dana, 1 1 ; Newport. 8 ; Clinton, 19. 

There is one Carnegie Library, connected with the city and township of 
Clinton. All of the district schools have small permanent libraries. The 
present county school superintendent, John B. Butler, has been serving in an 
acceptable manner since 1907. 

By a school enumeration for Vermillion county, taken in Ma)-. 19 10, 
the following facts were brought out concerning the school population : The 
number of school age in the several townships and towns of the county was 
as follows : Clinton township, 844 ; Eugene township, 33 1 ; Helt township, 
804; Highland township, 478; Vermillion township, 366; Cayuga town, 
212; Dana town, 206; Newport town, 163; city of Clinton, 1,468. The 
totals for the years 1907 and 1910, inclusive, were : 1907; 4,627; 1908, 4,818; 
1909, 4,792; 1910, 4,872. 

About 1904 the consolidated country school system was established in 
Helt township this county, and has proven a grand success. It gix'es the 
pupils a better, easier method of getting to and from school, and at no in- 
creased expense, all things counted, than under the separate school district,, 
system. This school is counted one^of the "model" sehools in Indiana. It 
a delightful sight to see the several teams lined uj) ready to recei\-e the chil- 
dren when school closes each day. They are carried in hacks to and from 
their homes, a radical change for the better. It is believed that this system ; 
will ere long become universal in the country school districts in the state. 




The tirst denomination in this count}' to erect a house of worship was the 
Presbyterians, who organized at CHnton in 1831, aided by the Methodists. 
Running down in the course of years, in 1834 they reorganized their society, 
under Re\-. John Gerrish, of Helt township, who died in tlie spring of 1887. 
in Kansas. Jn 1887 there were fifty-five members in the Chnton Pre.slnterian 
church, the ruhng elders being at that date E. V. Brown and Da\id McBeth. 
A Sundav school was then maintained the year round, with an average at- 
tendance of ninet}' pupils. Re\". L. (l. Hay. D. D.. (jf Terre Haute, was then 
serving as a stated supply for this church, commencing with February, 1887. 
Earlier pastors and supplies were Revs. James Boggs, in 1855: John A. Tifif- 
ner, two to three years: John Hawks, of Rockville, about the same length of 
time; Thomas (iriffith. nt .Mumczuma, tour years, and L. H. Davidson. The 
first church building was CdUNcrted into a barn. A new house of worship, 
erected about 1852. was a frame building, forty by se\-enty feet, located cen- 
trally, on the school house lot. The present church w'as erected of brick in 
1896 at a cost of ten thousand dollars. Membership, one hundred and fifty. 

Other pa.stors have been: Revs. \A'illiam Mitchell, (ieorge McCollough, 
L. G. Hay, A. M. Hooke, J. P. Hutchinson, G. H. Hoffoce. E. W. Sanders, 
C, E. Fowler, H. W. White, and the present pastor, Re\-. S. \'. Sydenstricker, 
who began in March, 1910. 

Toronto Presbyterian church was organized either 1850 or 1831, by 
Rev, Gerrish. The church, which was built during 1852, was a frame struc- 
ture thirty by forty feet in size, and in 1890 was still in good state of pres- 
ervation, .\mong the early members of the church were James A. Elder 
and wife, Samuel Elder and wife. Rev. John A. TifYany was pastor from 1858 
to 1866. In 1887 the number of communicants was about twenty. .\ union 
prayer meeting was maintained by the Methodists. Presbyterians and Bap- 

The Toronto Presljyterian church, at Bond, was organized nian\- years 
ago, but later the membership largely went to other ]ioints, as the countrv 


settled up, many going to the church at Dana. There a neat church was buih 
of frame, thirty-six by forty feet, besides a "rostrum" eight by fourteen feet. 
Its cost was about two thousand eight hundred dollars, not counting pews and 
other fLxtures. It was dedicated June 26, 1887, by Rev. T. D. Fyfife, of 
Roseville, Indiana. The leading men in building were W. M. Taylor, Samuel 
Aikman and Samuel Hall. This building is still in use. 

At Newport the Presbyterians were early in the field, but allowed the 
first society to run down. It was reorganized in the spring of 1875, by Rev. 
Mitchell, of Clinton, with only seven members. The ruling elders were M. G. 
Rhoades and I. B. Fusselman, later of Danville. About 1847 a frame church 
was erected, forty by fifty feet, on Market street, east of the public square. 
This was erected soon after the organization was efTected. Later it was occu- 
pied by the United Brethren. The society was never very strong at New- 
port, other churches having held the field. 

The Eugene Presbyterian church was first organized in 1826, when the 
first meetings were held in the house of William Thompson, a log cabin a 
little west of the depot on the Big Vermillion river. At first its name was 
the "River and County Vermillion Church," and comprised, April 26, 1826, 
Asa Palmer, William Thompson, William Wilson, Ann Wilson, William 
Armour, Ruhama Armour, Eliza Rodman, Hannah Laughlin, [Margaret 
Caldwell, Mary West, Mary Thompson, Lucy Thompson, and Susan Wilson. 
The first minister was Rew James Hummer, who was succeeded b}' Revs. 
Baldridge, Kingsbruy, Cozad, Conklin, C. K. Thompson, Venable Crosby, 
Henry M. Bacon and W. Y. Allen, of Rockville. In 1887 this church had a 
membership of fifty-two. The second place of meeting was a brick dwelling, 
and the third place a neat frame church, thirty-six by sixty feet, erected in 
1859 in partnership with the Methodist people. Its cost was three thousand 
dollars; it was erected centrally in the village of Eugene. Later the church 
interests were removed to Cayuga and in 1902 a fine brick church building 
was erected, bearing the inscription, "Eugene 1823 — Memorial — Cayuga, 
1902." It is located in the best part of the western portion of the town. 

What was styled Mount Olivet Cumberland Presbyterian church was 
located" three and a half miles southwest of Eugene. 

At Perrysville a Presbyterian church was organized at an early day and 
after struggling along many years finally dissolved, when it only mustered 
fifteen members. Their house of worship, which they purchased from the 
Universalist society, became unsafe, and in 1882 was sold for one hundred 
and fifty dollars and later torn down. There was no regular preaching after 
1873, when there was twenty-one members. 




Kiddie's Prairie Baptist churcli. — In 1852 a branch or mission of the 
Bloomlield Baptist church was' organized at Toronto, and in Juh'. 1853, it 
was reorganized as a separate body in the Toronto Presbyterian church, b)' 
Rev. G. VV. Riley. Revs. John and G. W. Riley were preachers in 1852, the 
latter named being the first pastor. Up to August, 1861, the following served 
as pastors or supplies: Rev. Joseph Shirk, William .McMasters and .\. J. 
Riley : thence on down later came Revs. William McMasters,. Alelvin Mc- 
Kee, William McMasters, Melvin McKee, D. S. French, William McMasters, 
A. J. Riley, G. T. Willis, J. M. Kendall, 1883; W. T. Cuppy, 1886-87. 

The Tennessee Valley Baptist church was organized in September, 1872, 
in the Staats school house by Rev. William McJklasters, who had preached 
there some time previously, when it was known as the "mission." Rev. 
William McMasters was pastor of this church until his death, in 1886, being 
succeeded by Rev. John H. Rusmisel. In 1875 a neat frame church was pro- 
vided at a cost of one thousand six hundred dollars. It was built in the north- 
east quarter of section 18, township 15, range 9 west. Present membership 
is one hundred. 

Dana Baptist church was formed in 1880, with twelve members, by Rev. 
G. T. Willis. Among the early pastors now disclosed by the records were 
Revs. Willis, Cartwright, William McMasters, Palmer and h'ranklin. The 
church building, a fancy brick structure, thirty-six Ijy sixty feet, in the north- 
ern part of the village of Dana, was built in 1887 ^t a cost of two thousand 
five hundred dollars. 

Hopewell Baptist church, a frame building about two miles north of 
Gessie, was the place of meeting of a society which was organized very early 
in the county's history by the Rabourns. A difificulty arose over Freemasonry, 
one side holding to the order, while the other pulled out of Christian fellow- 
ship on account of this fraternity. The two factions were called "Stippites" 
and "Johnsonites," after the two leading spirits of the Masonic and anti- 
Masonic factions. This split the little church into two parts, and neither 
flourished after that. 

At Clinton the Baptist church is young in years, it ha\ing been organized 
in 1909 with twenty-two members, which has now grown to a menil)ersliip of 
ninet\-four. A little more than three years ago a few Baptist families, desir- 
ing of having a church of their own faith, banded together and invited Rev. 
J. M. Kendall to preach to them occasionalh-, and August 18, 1909. with his 


assistance, organized the First Baptist church of Chnton, • Indiana, with 
twenty-two memliers. About eight months after the organization of tlie 
church tlie i>astor resigned because of other pressing duties. The following 
July the state convention sent Mrs. N. B. Leslie to this important field, and 
under her care the work progressed rapidly, including a flourishing, modern 
planned Sunday school. On March ist, tliis devoted woman was sent to other 
fields. Then the membershi]) of the church had reached ninet\- communicants. 
A lot was purchased upon which to erect a church, the ])rice paid being one 
thousand eight hundred and fifty dollars: it is at the corner of Fifth and 
Walnut streets, an ideal location. March i, 1912, the present pastor. Rev. 
A. E. Clem, was called, since which he has de\'oted his entire time to building 
up the interests of the church and attending to the duties of raising funds 
with which to erect tlie new church, which has its foundation in ( December, 
IQIJ) and when completed will cost about twent)' thousand dollars. It is to 
be of faced brick and stone trimmings, with full-sized basement, fift\--six by 
eighty feet, wherein will be situated Sunday school rooms, kitchen, gymnas- 
ium, etc. In the summer of 1912 great tent meetings were held and as a 
result there were added to the church, under Pastor Clem and the e\angelist, 
Charles E, Watkins, more than twenty-five more memliers. In all, the so- 
ciety now has a membership of almost two hundred. 

The Baptist churches in Vermillion count\- at this date are. tlie one at 
Clinton, the one at a point in Helt township, known as Tennessee Valley 
church, with a hundred niembers ; one at Dana, which had in u;ii ninet\'-six 
members, and proper!}- \alued at three thousand fi\e hundred dollars. 


Perhaps the earliest (irganizatidu (if this denomination in X'ermillinn 
county was formed as early as i<S37. This was the churcli at Haneman 
Chapel, formed at the house of Christopher Haneman. In 1837 a class was 
formed by a few members of that faith, including Christopher Haneman and 
wife, Harriet McDowel, George VVellman and wife, Jeremiah Hammond and 
wife, Silas Hollingsworth and wife, Emily Bales and Isaac Johnson and wife. 
A brick church was erected in 1842, but not completed until 1872, thirty years 
later. It stood on section 6, township 15, range g. Among the pioneer min- 
isters there may be recalled the names of Revs. John Shoey, \ViIliam Eckles, 
Andrew W'imset, Conyer. Jnhn .Miller, Tliomas Hamilton, Joseph Nye, Rev. 
Nugen. John .\. Mast and Sanmcl Potts. In 1887 there were twentv-eight 


members and Rev. S. S. Sims was pastor, and services were held once in 
three weeks. 

Midway United Brethren church was organized in 1857 by Rev. Joel 
Cogwill, with about fifteen members, in the Castle school house, which later 
w-as purchased and converted into a church building. It was twenty-two by 
thirty feet in size, and situated on section 13. township 15. range 10. Public 
services were discontinued there in 1887. 

Bethel United Brethren church, two miles southwest of Newport, was 
organized many years ago. Tn 1887 the church enjox'ed a membership of 
forty-eight. A church building was erected about 1862. 

Opedee United Brethren church was organized about 1880, and in 1886 
Miss \'Vimsett was a steward. Meetings were held then in a school house. 
Ira Mater, of Hillsdale, was a minister in this church. Another class met at 
the Eggleston school house. B. F. Dungan, of Newport, was pastor of all the 
United Brethren churches in \^ermillion township in the eighties. 

At Newport the United Brethren church was organized in 1870 by Rev. 
Samuel Garrigus, then a resident of Bellemore, Parke count)'. At first there 
were but fourteen members in this class, but by 1887 it had increased to ninet\', 
chiefly under the ministrations of Rev. Dungan. At the date last mentioned 
the society worshiped in the Presbyterian church, on Market street. 

Another ven' early church of this sect was the Cross-Roads L'nited 
Brethren church, two miles west of Perrysville, organized before 1848. .V 
large frame church house was built in early years. In 1888 the membership 
of this society was seventy-five. 

The Perrysville United Brethren church was organized many years ago, 
and in 1887 was called an old society. At that time the church was a frame 
building, thirty-eight by forty-eight feet, erected about 1837. 

Mound Chapel United Brethren church was erected about 1875: was 
thirty by forty feet: located three and one-half miles north of Perrysville. 

Liberty class was organized in 1878 by Re\-. Henr\- Xorlan \\ ith sixteen 

At Gessie the United Brethren people were organized in 1879 by Rev. 
F. E. Penny, of Danville, Illinois. Among the earlier ])astors in charge were 
Revs. J- A. Smith, J. Knowles, Kaufman, S. C. Zook, J. R. Horner. .\ church 
edifice was erected by the Chri.stians about 1877, a frame t\\ enty-four b)- forty 
feet, costing one thousand dollars, and in 1870 they sold to the United Breth- 



The first iMethodist organization in X'erniillion county was effected some 
time previous to 1830, at the house of John \'annest, the tirst settler in the 
county. The class then comprised, besides Mr. Vannest and his half- 
brother, George Rush, James and Amos and Joseph Reeder and the Brannon 
family. The minister, who walked his rounds every four weeks, was of that 
good and old-fashioned Methodist type of ministers always loved by his fol- 
lowers. Revs. Smitli and ]\Ic(iinnis were among the zealous preachers of 
that early day. Itinerant Methodist ministers of pioneer times were noted 
for their energy and daring in threading the wild woods and prairies in search 
of the isolated settler, for the purpose of preaching to him the gospel and of 
organizing classes as soon as he could find enough to meet, coming from far 
and near. The early history of these various Methodist classes has become 
lost with the shuffle of passing years, and we are obliged to leap forward in 
imagination over a half century in the history made by faithful men 
and women, who first planted the good seeds of Methodism, the fruits of 
which this generation and those yet unborn are and shall reap from great 
spiritual gifts. 

Coming down to 1887 it is learned that the society at Clinton comprised 
ninety-four members. The class leader was then L. H. Beckman; stewards, 
James M. Hayes and Robert Allen. The pastor was Rev. J. B. Combs. The 
circuit was in the Greencastle district. Northwestern Indiana conference, with 
Rev. A. A. Gee, of Greencastle. as presiding elder. As lo a house of worship 
it may be stated that the Methodists here passed from the log cabin residence 
and the school house to a frame church, erected mainly \)y the Presbyterians 
in 1831 ; and next to a frame building, thirty-eight by sixty feet, built about 
1852, at a cost of one thousand four hundred dollars. Again in 1883 an im- 
posing brick edifice was erected, forty b\' eighty feet in ground measurements, 
at a cost of six thousand fi\'e hundred dollars. This building, w ith some al- 
terations, is still doing service. 

Toronto Methodist Episcopal church was organized in Februarv, 1S53. 
by Rev. John Lach, who died in 1867. .\mong the first members were John 
Jenks and family, William Jordan and wife. Almeda Jenks. John R. ^Vishard 
and wife, Mrs. Tiller Jenks and a few more. In 1875 a great and sweeping 
revival was held by Rev. Jacob Musser. In 1887 the church had a meml>er- 
ship of sixty,, with Stephen Jenks as class leader. Services were then held in 
the Pre.=bvterian church b\- Re\'. \\'^illiam Sniitli. 


At Hillsdale the Methodist Episcopal church was organized July ii, 
l88o, by Rev. Thomas Bartlett, with the following- memliership : John W. 
Casebeer, class leader (.still living), S. R. James, Matilda James, Margaret 
Owens, Dr. E. Mack, Mrs. Mack, Martha Strowbridge, Ella Casebeer, A. B. 
Casebeer, Sarah Wilson, Mary McLaughlin, Jane Williamson, Wallace 
Thompson. Mrs. Thompson, Elizabeth Newell. R. Wilson. Thomas J. Will- 
iamson, Bertie Casebeer, Billy Ponton, Charles Bassett and IMrs. Mary 

A fine frame building was erected, thirty-four by forty feet, costing one 
thousand six hundred and fifty dollars, in 1883-84. principally by the dona- 
tions of "Sister Bricker." The ground was donated by 2\Irs. Mary (iibson. 
The first pastor here was Rew J. V. McDaniels. Following him came Revs. 
E. R. Johnson, Joy, J. T. Woods, W. A. Smith. Preaching was had on alter- 
nate weeks. The membership in 1887 was twent}--fi\-e. The class leader was 
at that date William Tincher. 

One of the oldest societies of this denomination was the old Salem Metho- 
dist Episcopal church, one mile north of Summit Grove, where preaching 
after this faith was had by Rev. Chamberlain in 1821-22. The next preacher 
was Rev. Dr. William James, a Virginian, who came to this count)- in October. 
1822, when he preached in the log barn of John Helt. and later in a small 
log cabin school house with split-pole seats. He preached and practiced medi- 
cine until 1826, when he started for New Orleans with a boat load of corn, 
and died en route. The next minister was Rev. \\'arner, of Parke county, 
who organized the class in the spring of 1828, in the log school house on 
Kelt's prairie, under the name of the "Helt's Prairie Class." Samuel R^ar- 
son and wife were the principal members. Others were John Helt and wife, 
Samuel Rush and wife. Mrs. Elizabeth Helt, Mrs. Mary Helt. lulmund James 
and wife, Collon James and John James and wife. These faithful followers 
met at the school house and at the house of Samuel Rush until 1S46, when 
they erected a frame house at the center of section 22, township 15, range 9 
west. In 1878 this building was sold and a commodious brick structure 
erected on the old foundation, about thirty-two by sixtv feet, at a cost of 
two thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight dollars. In 1888 there were 
more than one hundred members in good standing and serxices were held 
every other Sabbath. The i)astor was then Rev. ^^'. A. Smith and the class 
leaders James Harrington, James A. Miller, \^'right James. INIartin Harper 
and Frank Helt. 

Spring Hill class was organized in 1834 in the house of Joel Blakeslev. 
with Samuel Rush and wife. Joel Blakesley and wife, Zachariah I). James and 



wife, Jane Ford, Sarah Ponton, Stephen Plarrington and wife. \\'iiham 
Kearns and wife, Lydia Jackson, Enoch White and wife, Martha Ponton, 
Betsey Ponton, and Nathaniel Barnes and wife. In 1835 they built a hewed- 
log house, near the center of section 10, township 15, range 9, which they 
used for several years. The class was then styled "Goshen." They next 
moved to the school house a half mile to the north. In 1879 they built, at a 
cost of one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five dollars, a frame church 
thirtv bv forty feet, and in 1888 had a membership of about thirt\-. At that 
date the society was known as Spring Hill. 

.\sbury chapel was organized as early as 1830. named for old Bishop 
Asburv. One of the first ministers there was Rev. DeLap. Services were 
held at private houses until a frame church was erected on the southeast 
quarter of section 36. township 16, range 10 west, in 1850. A most powerful 
revival was held in 1852, under the pastorate of Rev. Arthur Badley, who 
subsequentl}- removed to Iowa. Other pastors were Revs. J. W. Parrett, 
Shaw, Thomas Bartlett, Salisbury, Clark Skinner, McDaniel, Wood, Barnard. 
Nebeker, Clark Skinner, Morrison and E. R. Johnson. Later the class did not 
prosper and finally went down. 

The Center Methodist Episcopal church was organized about 1837 at the 
home of James AVishard, where services were had many years. In 1853 a 
commodious frame structure was erected, costing about one thousand four 
hundred dollars. In 1887 the society had a membership of ninety-se\-en. 

In Helt town.ship ^lethodism has flourished from the day. .\t 
Dana the society was organized in 1879 by Rev. Daniel Morrison, of the 
Greencastle district. Among the first pastors will be recalled Re\-s. l^^lijah 
Johnson, J. C. AIcDaniels, Woods, William Smith. The society in 1887 had 
a membership of sixty, an increase of twenty over the original number. A 
house of worship was erected in 1882, at a of, including the lots, one 
thousand eight hundred dollars. The present magnificent pressed brick struc- 
ture was built in 1906 and is among the finest, if not the very best, within the 

Lebanon Alethodist Episcopal church, east of Quaker Hill, was organized 
at a very early day. In 1887 it had a membership of thirty-five. A frame 
building was provided which was thirty by thirty-six feet in size. 

Vermillion Chapel Methodist Episcopal church, three and a half miles 
southwest of Newport, erected its building about 1847. ^^'^^ used until in the 
latter part of the eighties, when it was sold and a new one built at a cost of 
one thousand eight hundred dollars. 

At Eugene, Methodism had an early planting, it being on the frontier, 


and it naturally endured many hardships for long years. The records ha\-e 
long- since perished, but the true spirit of Methodism still prevails. 

At Cayuga this denomination built their first church in 1887-88. 

At Newport, the county seat of justice, the Methodist Episcopal church 
existed in the very early days of the town's history, the details of which are 
now hard to bring to tangible light for historic record. In time they built a 
church building, and when it had outli\ed its usefulness it was sold and torn 
away. In 185 1 another edifice was erected, and later an addition of eighteen 
feet was added. In 1887 the societ\- had a membership of one hundred and 
seventy-five. A fine parsonage was built in 1882. 

At Perrysville the history of Methodism is traced through the pioneer 
period down to the present, it never having died out for lack of interest. In 
1887 it was stated that the loss of ^ records made it impossible to give a clear 
conception of all the transactions of the little band that first planted the good 
seeds in that neighborhood. At the last date mentioned the church had a 
membership of one hundred and thirty-three. The class leaders were then 
B. O. Carpenter and J. F. Compton. Several social and auxiliary .societies 
ha\-e branched ofT from the parent church at Perrys\-ille. In 1843 ^ brick 
church was built, valued at three thousand dollars, forty- four by fifty-two feet 
in size. It was located in the southwest central portion of the town. 

In Vermillion county there is only one African Methodist Episcopal 
church, that located at Clinton, having a membership of t\ventA'-two. 


The subjoined is a list of all tlie cluirches of this denomination in \'er- 
million county in 1912, as near as can be determined from the minutes of the 
last conference : 

Clinton, J. C. Martin, pastor; salary, $1,000; membership, 2~H: church 
and parsonage valued at $9,000. 

Dana, C. E. Beebe, pastor; salary, $1,000; membership, 345; three 
churches, valued, with parsonages, at $14,400. 

Fairview Park, A. E. Kester, pastor; salary, $800; membership, 386; 
value of church and parsonage property, $13,500. 

Newport, A. M. Hagenbook, pa.stor; salary, $800; meml^ership. 276; 
value of church property, $10,500. 

Perrysville, H. N. Calton, pastor: salary, $800; membership, 282; val- 
uation of church and parsonage, $7,600. 


There are some country charges suppHed from the above central stations 
of tlie society. But the above are the churches listed in the latest conference 


In these days when, in the Methodist economy, the title of presiding 
elder has been changed to that of district superintendent, it may be of interest 
to know something of the character of the old-time circuit riders, and for 
this purpose here will be inserted a paragraph from the writings of L. O. 
Bishop, in a series entitled "Fifty Years .\go." He says: "S. P. Colvin was 
the minister here w hen Fort Sumter was fired upon and let me say right here 
that the old-tin^e circuit rider certainly earned his salary. The Clinton cir- 
cuit then included Clinton, Salem, Centenary, Center and Trinity. There 
was, as a result, something doing for the minister all the time. They were 
ministers indeed. Colvin was a broad-minded man, a speaker of high ability, 
intensely devoted to his country, a fine companion, both in the home circle as 
well as in public meetings. And as a fisherman and a hunter he had no equals. 
Many a time 1 have seen him and some of our family (they were all Metho- 
dists or Presbyterians) go out on a hunting trip and bring back a ten-foot pole 
full of game, so loaded that it required the two men to carry it on their 
shoulders. .And such times as everybody would have. The cooks got busy 
and built a game pot pie, a wonderful creation of the culinary art. And the 
minister and the class leader, and the neighbors far and near would be in- 
vited to come in and enjoy the feast. And they sat down, some in calico and 
some in gingham, few possibly had something finer, but the quality of the 
clothes made no difference in their happiness. And the jokes flew thick and 
fast and hearty, robust laughter shook their sides, and then they would lean 
back from the table and roar with laughter over some bright shaft of wit or a 
skyrocket of humor that someone had let loose. And then they sat up to the 
table and went at it again. I lost my religion at these spreads by always having 
to wait until second or third table and then pick the bones, if the preacher 
and his crowd had left any to pick. But these feasts were very much like the 
miracle of fishes and loaves. If there appeared to be any scarcity of game 
pie, or fried chicken, roasting ears, dressing, mashed potatoes, pie, cake and 
float, etc., etc., and more etc., somehow there was always enough and some to 
spare and e\-erybody was satisfied." 



The old frame Methodist Episcopal church of 1861 on South Main street 
was torn down in about 1883 and the site was then occupied b\' a residence be- 
longing to Mrs. Clara Salyards. Mr. Bishop continues : "On this particular 
Sunday that I am speaking of there fell upon the people of Clinton such a 
deep, intense feeling of an impending crisis that when Mr. Colvin spoke at 
times the faintest sigh could be heard over the room, so profound was the 
silence. Many a 1)oy sat there that Sunda}- who was shortly to be enrolled in 
the greatest army the world has ever seen, and to take part in mighty move- 
ments on the chess board of the nation. 

■'Pretty soon we began to miss the boys from their accustomed places. 
For it will be remembered that those days there were about seventy-five per 
cent, of the people church members and ninety per cent, attended church — not 
so now-a-days ! There were vacancies behind counters and school desks, on 
farms, in shops, at carpenter benches, and everywhere. It seemed as if every 
home in Clinton had given up one or more of its adult members. Bravely 
they marched to the front, behind the Stars and Stripes, a martial band play- 
ing in stout-hearted tones, "Jay Bird," or "The Girl I Left Behind Me." 
When they had all gone to the front there fell upon the homes of Clinton 
such a pall of silent anguish, such intense anxiety, that the wonder was that 
the mothers, fathers, sisters and sweethearts at home did not go mad from 
the very terror of the situation. 

"Indeed, there is but one description in all the literature that T ha\e 
read that aptly and tersely describes the conditions at liome during those four 
long years. That sentence was the prophecy uttered nearh two thousand 
years ago by the Nazarene, who, looking ahead and, seeing with god-like 
clearness of vision all effects following from their causes, exclaimed: 'And 
there shall come such times as never was'." 


Hopewell Friends church was organized at an early da\- in Vermillion 
township, this county, and was of the same "monthly meeting" as the one at 
Pilot Grove, Illinois. In 1887 it had a membership of two hundred and thirty. 
Ministers James P. Haworth, William F. Henderson and Ruth R. Ellis all 
sen'ed acceptably and well. The overseers at Hopewell ("Quaker Hill) were 
Jonathan E. and Kate E. Ellis and Albert and Tane Henderson. Dinah T. 


Henderson was recorder. The church or "meeting house"' was buiU in 1873 
at a cost of one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars. 

The Friends are not numerous enough here now to maintain many regu- 
lar meetings. Many of these people have long since remoxed to other sections 
of the country. No better people, ho\\e\er, e\'er graced any community than 
these sincere and conscientious men and women styled "Quakers," but who 
prefer their right name. Friends. 

The Friends, however, in Eugene and Helt townships still have a good, 
thrifty settlement and maintain meetings at what is known as Hopewell, near 
Quaker ; at Henderson chapel and Lindsley, Eugene township. 


A Universalist church was organized at Perrysville in 1842, and after- 
ward erected a house of worship, a frame structure, thirty-six by fifty feet in 
size, but being unable to pay for it, they finally, in 1850, sold it to the Presby- 
terians and subsequently disbanded. They numbered as high as fifty-fi\e 
members at one time. Among the ministers who serx-ed them were Revs. K. 
Manford, the celebrated editor, a resident of Terre Haute: B. F. Foster, of 
Indianapolis; George McClure, of Dayton, Ohio, and a Air. Babcock. The 
organizing minister was Rev. ]\Iarble, of Fountain county, who preached 
once a month for one year. The leading members were Robert J. Gessie 
("trustee and mortgagee") , Dr. Thornton S. Daxidson. Dr. Porter, Messrs. 
Lawless and Watt. They conducted a flourishing Sunday school. The writer 
knows of no other societies of this denomination within this county. In fact 
the belief is not as popular in any part of the country as it -was many decades 
ago. The Unitarians having taken man}- of the members o\er into their fold. 
Every community, however, now has Uni\ersalists in lielief, but not in suffi- 
cient numbers to organize and carry forward a church w ork, as do other sects. 


In the early missionar_\' days of Clinton some thirt)- years ago, there were 
very few Catholic families in Parke or Vermillion counties, and Rev. T. 
O'Donaghue, brother of the present bishop of Louisville, was entrusted with 
the spiritual guidance of a parish which was then almost a wilderness. In 
later years conditions began to improve, but not enough to warrant the es- 
tabli.shment of a parish. Clinton accordingly remained a mission of Monte- 


zuma till 1889, when Rev. Joseph T. Baur was commissioned by Rt. Rev. 
Francis Silas, bishop of Indianapolis, to organize a parish. 

Coming to Clinton in Noxemlier of the same year Father Baur first i)f- 
fered up the holy sacrifice of the mass in the home of Peter Lamlj at 315 Xorth 
Main .street. There the faithful continued to as.semble for divine worship till 
the vear 1892. when the old Hoffman residence, now No. 303 Water street, 
was purchased and converted into a church. It did not hjng meet the recjuire- 
ments of the growing congregation, however, and the jiresent proi)ert\- at 
Sixth and Nebeker streets was secured and St. Patrick's church erected in the 
spring of 1894. 

The wonderful resources of the Clinton coal fields and the progressi\-e 
spirit of its business men began about this period to attract considerable at- 
tention throughout the states. As a consecjuence, during the pastorate of 
Re\'. Walter J. Cronin, 1900- 1906, \e\-y many people came seeking employ- 
ment in the mines. Those who were successful decided to make their future 
home in the village on the Wabash. Among them were foreign representa- 
ti\-es of nineteen different nations of the world. 

So \ast had the congregation become in 1906 that Re\'. William A. 
Maher. who succeeded Father Cronin in June of the same year, was imme- 
diately impressed with the necessitv of a larger church and a school for the 
dissemination of Catholic learning. Through his ability to speak seven of the 
foreign languages he looked forward to a spirit of greater religious unity, and 
so began, in 1908, the erection of our present beautiful church, modeled after 
the cathedral of Thurles in Ireland. It is a picture of beauty, in stone and 
brown pressed brick, designed by Gault & Gault, of Terre Haute, and was 
dedicated to God's holy ser\ice June 13, 1909. 

The cost of the church was about seventeen thousand dollars. The Sis- 
ters' school, now under charge of Sisters of St. Frances, from Oldenberg. 
Indiana, has an attendance of about three hundred pupils, while the congre- 
gation of the church numbers four thousand souls. The total \ahie of this 
church property is estimated at thirty thousand dollars. 

Father James L. Bolin assumed charge of the parish in December, 1910. 
and in the following year began the erection of the present school building, 
now in charge of the Sisters, six in all. Father Bolin was succeeded 1)\- the 
jiresent jiastor, h'ather A\'illiam F. Keefe. 




This denomination, sometimes known as the Church of Christ, and many 
years ago as Disciples or CampbelHtes, at one time had a strong following in 
Vermillion county, but it is not so large today. There are, however, some 
societies of this sect, including those at Cayuga, Dana, St. Bernice, State Line 
society, and Clinton, but none but the Dana church has a regular pastor at 
this time, December, 191 2. There are houses of worship in each of the towns 
named. At Dana there are thirty-five members; the pastor is Re\-. J. W. 
Parks, who came in 19 12, and cares for the State Line church. 

In Clinton there are also a few families of this denomination, but who 
are known as the "Antis," as they are radically opposed to the use of church 
organs and many of the modern societies that are known in other religious 
societies as auxiliaries, such as Sunday schools, Epworth Leagues and Christ- 
ian Endeavors. They simply take the plain teachings of the New Testament, 
without credit or form of any sort, and they, too, style themselves "Christian," 
while many of the other of like general doctrinal belief call themselves the 
"Church of Christ," or "Christ Church." 

The Clinton Christian church (first church) was organized in i8<S9 in 
Crabb's Hall by the Rev. W. W. Jacobs, of Kansas, Illinois, and during his 
stay with them the society prospered well, but after his departure from their 
leadership they declined until 1894, when Rev. H. M. Brooks, of Paris, Illi- 
nois, appeared on the scene and reorganized the church. It was in February 
of that year that their church house was dedicated. It is a good brick struc- 
ture located on the corner of Seventh vind Blackman streets, .\mong the 
ministers who ha\e served here all ha\e done well their ]>art toward building 
up the church, which now has a menil)ership of about two hundred and fifty, 
who are daily trying to magnify the Christ, their Lord. 


The United Brethren Union church, at Cayuga, was organized March 
18, 1906, by Rev. C. Long, with D. L. Sollers, deacon; O. S. Harvey, steward; 
Harry Kiger. clerk. In 1909 a neat frame church was erected at a cost of 
one thousand dollars. The membership of this church is now eighty-five. 
Re\-. John Wells, of Clinton, is the present pastor in charge. The new church 
building is ])ro\-ided with a good bell and church organ. 

This denomination is also represented in this countv at Cromersxille and 




W'rmillion county has the following- Ma.sonic lodges, all prospering, in 
the autumn of 1912: At Clinton, Jerusalem Lodge No. 99; at Newport, 
Newport Lodge No. 209; at Perrysville. L'nity Lodge No. 344: at Cayuga, 
Cayuga Lodge No. 584: at Dana, Asbury Lodge No. 320. 

At Clinton, Freemasonry was first instituted prior to 1843. hut interest 
in its workings declined and the charter was finally surrendered. Jerusalem 
Lodge No. 99 was chartered May 29, 1850, and has e\er since been kept 
ali\-e. The charter members of this, the first lodge in the county, were: 
Sylvester Redfield, worshipful master, who later removed to Nebraska ; John 
X. Perkins, Hiram Barnes. John R. Whitcomb, Benjamin R. Whitcomb, 
William S. Price, James Gazsoway. James ]\[cCulloch, Nathan Sidwell. J. J. 
]\loore and William Barrick. The menibership of this lodge in 191 2 was one 
hundred and twenty-two, and its electi\-e officers were then : J. X. Frist, wor- 
■shipful master: Mahalon Stark, senior warden: Ceorge Boatman, junior war- 
den: I\'an W. Scott, secretary: Arthur B. Roberts, treasiu-er : Ilenr}" .\dani- 
son, senior deacon. 

The Alasonic hall of Clinton was erected in 1902 and is \-aluc(l at about 
ten thousand dollars. 

At Dana, Asbury Lodge No. 320 was chartered May 24. 1865, by the 
following charter members : Morris Hager, John Aye, Thomas S. Hood, 
James Osbofn, Selah Temple, Thomas A. Edmundston, John Bilsland, Henry 
Jordan, William F. Bales, W^illiam F. Ford. The lodge was first organized at 
Bono, now called Toronto. Its ])resent membership is se\-ent_\--eight. The 
lodge was built as the second floor of a building in Dana, the rooms l)eing 
especially prepared for lodge room uses, and the property is valued at one 
thousand two hundred dollars. The officers in the fall of 191 2 were as fol- 
lows : James R. Douglas, \\orshipful master : Da\is S. WillianLs, senior 
warden: S. E. Scott, junior warden: H. L. Fillinger, treasurer; C. B. Jackson, 
secretary; F. B. Lowrey, senior deacon; Jacob S. Randall, junior deacon; 
E. B. Thompson, t}'ler. 


'Xevvport Lodge Xo. J09 was instituted May 26, 1857. and its first officers 
were: Thomas C. W. Sales, worshipful nia.ster ; Abel Sexton, senior warden; 
ilenrv F. Jackson, junior warden. The lodge now has a membership of forty, 
and its last officers are: Charles X. Fultz, worshipful master; John A. 
Hughes, senior warden; M. B. Carter, junior warden; H. V. Nixon, senior 
deacon; Joseph McCormick, junior deacon; Jesse Fultz, secretary; V. R. 
Nixon, treasurer. The lodge built its present hall about 1900 at a cost of one 
thousand t\\ o hundred dollars and later bought the second story of the build- 
ing adjoining, so that it nowr owns the whole second Boor of the two-story 
brick building situated just west of the court house on the west side of the 
square, being about forty-four by fifty feet and divided into a large room, and 
two rooms on the south which are used for a dining room and kitchen. 

There is also Eastern Star Chapter No. 236 in connection. The present 
worth)- matron is I'^annie Carter; worthy patron, Charles X". Fultz; associate 
matron, Edna Hollingsworth ; conductress, Goldie Fultz ; associate conduct- 
ress, Xellie Wait. 

-Vt Eugene, this county, a Masonic lodge was instituted in 1847, with 
about forty-seven members. Among the first officers were : C. M. Comages, 
worshipful master; Harvey Skelton, senior warden; Dr. R. AI. Waterman. 
junior warden ; George Sears, secretary ; Anthony Fable, treasurer. After 
about ten years this lodge went down on account of remo\-als to side towns 
and newly organized lodges, such as were formetl at Xewport, Lodi and 
Perrysville. Harv'ey Skelton was the last master of the Eugene lodge as above 

With the springing into existence of Cayuga, the lodge was moved from 
Eugene there and now is in a prosperous condition, but no facts were fur- 
nished the compiler. 

At Perrysville, Unity Lodge No. 114 was organized about 1850, at least 
that early, and increased to thirty-four members. The lodge flourished until 
May, 1859, when its charter was surrendered. Xothing further was accom- 
plished in Ma.sonic circles until ^Nlay 29, 1867, after the close of the Civil war 
period, when Unity Lodge X^o. 344 was instituted with the following charter 
officers: W. B. Moffatt, worshipful master; James Hemphill, senior warden; 
Jacob S. Stephens, junior warden; William Jarrauld. secretary; Robert E. 
Townsley, treasurer; H. M. Townsley, senior deacon; John Wolf, junior 
deacon ; Thomas Scott, tyler. The present officers are Alexander Grubbs, 
worshipful master ; Roy G. Jester, senior warden ; Arthur Blunt, junior war- 
den ; Robert O. Jones, treasurer; J. F. Compton, secretary. Thev own their 
own lodge room. 




Of Chapter No. 125, Royal .Vrch Masons, at Clinton, it may be stated 
that its charter was revoked b\- the grand chapter in November, 1912, and now 
there are no chapters of Royal Arch Masons within Vermillion county. 

The only commandery of Knights Templar in this county is at Clinton. 


The earliest lodge of Odd I'ellows organized in A'ermillion county was 
Charitv Lodge No. 32, chartered at Perrysville April 20, i84d. The first 
officers were : Irad .\lxlill, noble grand ; Charles Boyles. \ice grand : T. S. 
Davidson, secretar}- ; Thomas Cushman, treasurer; John Dunlap, warden; 
C. N. Gray, conductor; John A. Minchell, recording secretary. In 1887 this 
lodge had a membership of nineteen; they owned their own building and had 
property valued at one thousand three hundred and forty-eight dollars. Dur- 
ing Civil war days this lodge was kept alive Ijv si.x faithful members. Present 
membership is forty-seven. 

Highland Encampment No. 163 was instituted December 7, 1883. 

Rebekah Lodge No. 218 was instituted July 24, 1882. 

Amant Lodge No. 356 was instituted November 16, 1870, with al)out a 
dozen members, which had increased to seventy-five by 1887. The present 
membership is one hundred and seventy-three. 

Unity Lodge No. 827, a newer lodge, has a membership of one hundred 
and five. 

Clinton Encampment No. 143 was chartered Ma\' 16, 1876. 

Vermillion Lodge No. 182, Rebekah degree, was organized July 9, 1877. 

Setting Sun Lodge No. 583 was organized April 2"], 1881, at Cayuga, 
with seventeen members, and the following officers : William H. Hood, noble 
grand; E. B. Johnson, vice grand; H. O. Peters, treasurer; V). ^^'. Bell, secre- 
tary. The present membership is sixt\--two. 

Dana Lodge No. 581 was organized February 10. 1881, with eighteen 
members, and Hiram Shepard, noble grand: Julius C. Gro\es, vice grand; 
and Fred Rush, secretary. The memljership of this lodge in 1912 was rejiort- 
ed as one hundred and fifty- four. 

Vermillion Lodge No. 594, at Newport, was instituted in the room over 
the furniture store of David Hopkins by Past Grand Hiram Shepard, under 
a charter granted May 18, 1882, on the ijetition of Robert E. Stephens, Lewis 
Shepard, Thomas Cushman, F. Y . Wade. Julius Groves and J. M. Tavlor. 
The first officers were: Lewis Shepard. noble grand: Robert F. Stephens. 



\ice grand; Thomas Cushman, secretary; J. M. Taylor, treasurer. The lodge 
now has a membership of seventy-eight. 

Hope Lodge No. 268, Daughters of Rebekah, was chartered November 
18, 1886. 

Vermillion Lodge No. 594, at Newport, was instituted July 6, 1882. Its 
first officers were : Robert E. Stephens, noble grand ; Thomas Cushman, sec- 
retary ; James Chipps, treasurer. 

The 1912 officers are: George Morehead, noble grand; Guy F. Newlin, 
vice grand ; lies Morehead, recording secretary ; Edmund B. Brown, financial 
secretary; James Chipps, treasurer: Bird H. Davis, Ithimer M. Casebeer and 
Fred D. Wimsett, trustees. The present membership of this lodge is sixty- 
eight. Their hall was built in 1892, at a cost of one thousand six hundred 
dollars ; para])hernalia and furniture, four hundred dollars. 

This lodge is always represented at the grand lodge, and B. H. Davis of 
the Hoosier State, published at Newport, was appointed proof-reader of the 
grand lodge in 1912. and had served on the Daughters of Rebekah committee 
at a former session. 


The following show s an account of the Odd Fellows lodges in Vermillion 
county according to the 191 2 grand lodge reports; also the membership of 
each .subordinate, as well as Rebekah degree, lodge : 

Charity Lodge No- 32 has forty-seven members. 

Amant Lodge No. 356 has one hundred and seventy-three meml:>ers. 

Dana Lodge No. 581 has a membership of one hundred and fifty-four. 
. Setting Sun Lodge No. 583 has sixty-two members. 

Vermillion Lodge No. 594 has seventy-eight members. 

St. Bernice Lodge No. 666 has one one hundred and thirty-eight mem- 

B. F. Foster Lodge No. 730 has a membership of seventy-eight. 

Unity Lodge No. 827 has a membership of one hundred and five. 

This gives a grand total of eight hundred and thirty-fi\-e Odd Fellows in 
Vermillion county. 


Clinton. Vermillion Lodge No. 182 has one hundred and fifty-nine mem- 

Perry ville Lodge No. 218 has a memhersliii) ni twentv-six. 


Newport, Hope Lodge No. 268 has thirty-two members. 
St. Bernice, Cohimbia Lodge No. 425 has ninety- four members. 
Hillsdale Lodge No. 573 has ninety-nine members. 
Cayuga, Venus Lodge No. 515 has nine members^ 
Dana, Ruth Lodge No. 634 has sixty-five members. 
This gives a grand total of membership in the Rebekah degree of four 
hundred and eighty-four. 


Vermillion Lodge No. 113, of the order of Knights of Pythias, was 
organized December 31, 1884, with si.xteen charter members and the first 
officers were: Dr. James T. Henderson, chancellor commander: F. S. Smith, 
vice commander; L. .\. Morgan, master of finance; M. J. Rudy, master of 
exchequer; D. H. Cade, keeper of records and seal; W. A. Collins; prelate; G. 
R. Hicks, master at ai-ms ; A. R. Marlat, inner guard ; E. A. Lacy, outer guard. 

At Dana the Knights of Pythias have a hall in conjunction with the Odd 
Fellows order. The lodge number is 247. 

At Clinton no data was furnished, but it is known that this order lias 
Hazel Lodge No. 217, with C. C. Foley as keeper of records and seal, and 
Victor Lodge No. 553. 

There are now Knights of Pythias lodges at Clinton. Ca\uga, Dana and 
Newport, all in a flourishing condition. At Clinton there is a Uniform Rank 
degree of this order; also the Pythian Sisters. 

Riverside Lodge Xo. 242, at Newport, was instituted June 4, 1890. Tlie 
first officers were: Rev. F. W. Gee. past commander; R. E. Stephens, clian- 
cellor commander; R. B. Sears, vice commander; B. S. Aikman, master of 
exchequer; J. D. Collett, master of finance; R. B. Van Allen, prelate; W. J. 
Place, outer guard ; J. L. Nelson, inner guard ; T. J. Nichols, master at arms ; 
E. E. Henson, keeper of records and seal. 

The lodge now has a membership of one hundred and eighteen. Its 
elective officers are: George W. Short, chancellor commander; H. B. Aik- 
man, vice chancellor; W. M. Place, master of exchet|uer: W. S. Brown, mas- 
ter of finance; J. B. Butler, prelate; Charles V. Hughes, outer guard; A. 
Julian, inner guard ; lies Morehead, keeper of records and seal. 

This lodge owns its own hall and its cost was about one thousand two 
hundred dollars, erected in 1892. 



\\"hile it is impossil:)le to record tlie names of every man connected with 
the bar of Vermillion count}-, the following list will sen-e a good purpose in 
calling to mind many, both dead and living, who have practiced in the county. 

In Clinton township the list includes James R. Baker, who, although he 
(lid not practice law long, should not be omitted. He left the profession to 
become a Afethodist Episcopal minister. 

Lyman J. Smith practiced here four years and remoxcd to I'aris, Illinois. 

"Judge" John Porter, who lived in the country in this township, fol- 
lowed tbe law to some extent, was a man of good literary attainments, a mem- 
ber of the Legislature, etc. He died some time prior to the Civil war period. 

For about one year prior to the war a man named Ragan practiced law 
at Clinton. 

Henry D. Washburn, a native of \'ermont, a member of tbe noted 
A\'ashburn family of the old Green Mountain state, was born in Marcli, 1832, 
coming to this county about 1850; taught school three or four years, chiefly 
in Helt township, and some at Newport; studied law, while teaching, with 
Thomas C. W. Sale at Newport; admitted to the bar in 1853, and o])ened an 
office at Newport; was in partnershi]) with M. P. Lowry for a time; elected 
auditor of Vermillion county in 1854, serving one term; entered the army as 
cajjtain of Company C, Eighteenth Indiana Infantr)-, promoted to lieutenant- 
colonel, then colonel, and brexeted brigadier-general and then majur-general. 
serving in all about four years, first in Missouri, next in the Army of the 
Potomac, then in Georgia; but in 1864, before the termination of the Civil 
war, was elected, while a resident of Clinton, to the lower house of Congress, 
against Daniel W. Voorhees, serving from March, 1865, to March, 1869. In 
the last year he was appointed by President Grant to the office of surveyor- 
general for the territory of Montana and while holding the office died in Jan- 
uary, T871, at Clinton, lea\ing a wife and two children. Commanding a com- 
])any of fiftv men, he made the first explorations of tbe now famous Yellow- 
stone Park, in 1870, in which journey the exjiosure brought on illness that 
proved fatal to him. He was a Methodist, a Republican and a member of the 
Knights Templar degree of Masonry. 



Henry A. White, a native of Helt township, this county, practiced 
law at Clinton a nnml^er of years, then moved to Kansas. 

M. P). Davis, another \'ermillion county product, and a graduate of old 
Asbury L'niversity, Greencastle, was admitted to the bar while a \-ery young 
man, and was in partnership for a sliort time with H. H. Conley, of Newport. 
In 1885 he left for Beatrice, Nebraska, and there practiced law and was con- 
nected with the Beatrice Republican, a local news])aper. 

In 1888 the lawyers at Clinton were Daniel C. Johnson, I'latt Z. Ander- 
son, Benjamin R. \Miitcomb, I. H. Strain and Melvin B. Davis. 

At Newport, the seat of justice, the members of the legal profession have 
included these: Daniel M. Jones, a native of Vermillion county, attended 
Wabash College, not quite completing his course ; he was admitted to the bar 
in 1852 to 1853: was a member of the Legislature in" 1861, as a Republican; 
was an acti\ e partisan, a natural orator, and a shrewd lawyer, and died in the 
autumn of \^(}j^. lea\ing a widow and three children. His wife was a sister 
of Stephen S. Collett. The son studied for a physician. 

I-. C. Allen, l3orn near Highland, this county, studied law under M. (]. 
Rhoades, of New^port. and was there admitted to the bar. He was justice of 
the peace in 1868-72. when he also had some trial cases on hand. He was a 
man of firm principles and sometimes a little se\ere and rough. Later, he 
remo\'ed to Fountain county and served as a deputy clerk at Covington. 

Nathan Harvey was a natixe and lived many years in Parke county, this 
state, being educated at Bloomingdale school, the Quaker institution, under the 
instruction of Barnabas Hobbs, formerl\- state superintendent of public in- 
struction He had a fair mind and good scholarship. On coming to New- 
port he tau.ght school in the seminary building during the da\s of the Civil 
war, for a couple of years, then married the daughter of John C. Johnson. 
He became a law partner of William Eggleston, liut was onl\- i>ermitted to 
practice about three years, when he died, during a session of court. He was 
an honorable man and had he not died so earl\- would doubtless ha\e been 
one of the county's best legal minds. 

Robert A. Parrett, a native of Indiana, settled w ith his parents at New- 
port when a young man. His father was a traveling Methodist minister and 
the son Roliert was reared largelv in Newport. He commenced a course at 
-\sbury mow De Pauw University) and while yet in the fre.shman year, on 
account of ill health, he had to desist. He then read law in the office of Judge 
Jump, was admitted to bar and practiced his professi(Mi for a time. In the 
autumn of 1873 '^e was admitted as a partner of P.. E. and M. d. Rhoades. in 


wliicli relation he remained until January, 1880. He then engaged in farming 
near Newport. He was a good lawyer, a good bookkeeper and attentive to 
business, but, owing to ill health, was induced to abandon the profession for 
that more healthful and independent occupation of a farmer. 

Prof. B. F. Rhoades, a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1834, came with 
his parents' family 'to Richmond, Indiana, in 1836, in a one-horse wagon. In 
1837 they came to Parke county; then moved to Waveland, Montgomery 
county, where he attended the Waveland Academy, and entered Wabash Col- 
lege in the junior year, graduating there in 1859. He then came to Clinton. 
Vermillion county, and taught in the Farmer's College a jjart of one year. 
He studied law in the office of Judge Maxwell, at Rockville, Parke county, 
was admitted to the bar, came to Newport in 1861, and commenced the prac- 
tice of law. He w-as in partnership with his brother, M. G. Rhoades, 1865-79. 
In 1865-66 he was a member of the Legislature. In 1878 he removed to 
Terre Haute. He went to Europe with his family and there spent thirteen 
months in ti'avel. Early in the spring of 1881 he was appointetl judge, of the 
superior court of Vigo county, serving one year. For five years he was one 
of the trustees of the State University at Bloomington, where he was also a 
professor of law for a time. 

John D. Cushman was born and reared in Perrysville, this county. His 
father was Thomas Cushman, who was elected county auditor in the fall of 
1872, and moved with his family to Newport, where the son John studied 
law, was admitted to the bar, and began practice with Joshua Jump for a 
time; was in the office of Messrs. Rhoades, where he proved himself a good 
office man, a fine penman and an intelligent business factor of the county seat 
town. He was a good public speaker, but never practiced at the bar to any 
considerable extent. In the autumn of 1875 he went to the Southern states, 
where he traveled for si.x months. Returning, he resumed law practice, 
sometimes alone, at other times with others, until his death, about 1882. He 
was a young man of more than ordinary promise when death claimed him. 

Thomas C. W. Sale was for many years a lawyer of Newport, and 
before the Civil war went to Paris, Illinois, where he received an appointment 
as Indian agent, and he was in the far West for a long period in the fulfill- 
ment of the duties of that office. Later he returned and resided at Paris, 

Samuel G. Malone, who practiced before the \^ermillion county bar 
prior to the Civil war, removed to Decatur, Illinois, where he accumulated 
from seventy-five to one hundred thousand dollars, but lost it all later. He 
then retired to his farm in Helt township, this county. 


William Eggleston, a native of Vermillion county, Indiana, was educated 
here, attended the common schools and the county seminary at Newport, 
after he was grown to man's estate. He was industrious and persevering. 
He took kindly to law, and in due time was admitted to the bar, about 1859.. 
He worked up considerable practice, by hard struggle, making many errors, 
but after fifteen years' practice accumulated a handsome property. He then 
engaged in the mercantile business with his brother, but they both failed in 
business. During his experience as a merchant, however, William proceeded 
with the law profession and was again a successful attorney. While here he 
wrote and published three works: "A Treatise on County Commissioners," 
"A Legal Work on Damages," and a play entitled "The Broken-hearted 
Wife," being a story of woman's love and man's unfaithfulness, and consist- 
ing of facts that occurred a few years before, in this section of the state, under 
his own observation. He removed to Terre Haute in 1877. 

V. E. Witmer, about eighty-five years ago, came from Ohio to Newport, 
tliis county, where he practiced law about six years, then moved to a point 
near Logansport, where he died in the eighties. He was a man possessed of 
the "spread-eagle" style, not deeply \ersed, but executive, working up law 
suits whether they should have been worked up or not. 

William L. Little, a graduate of old Asbury L'niversity (now DePauw), 
became a Alethodist minister, preaching here a year or more. He then 
switched to farming seven miles southwest of Newport, and in that he suc- 
ceeded well; next he practiced law at Newport, settled a few estates, and 
then became a merchant, finally moving to Hutchinson, Kansas, about 1882. 
He had a fair intellect, a good degree of information on general subjects, and 
was a prominent citizen of Vermillion county. From 1862-72 he acted as 
county examiner, and for about eight years served as county school superin- 

James Blanchard. another natix'e of this county, received a good classical 
education and was an expert penman, on which account he was emplo\-ed 
much in the stores and county offices as an accountant and copyist. Picking 
u|) a little law knowledge, he was admitted to the bar and had several law 
jtartners. He was a good assistant in preparing legal papers, conducting cor- 
respondence, making collections, etc. About 1884 he moved to Terre Haute, 
and from there went to South Hutchinson, Kansas, where he is engaged in the 
real estate business and was generally successful. 

Ben Blanchard, though nominally an attorney, ne\er actualh- conducted a 
suit. He mo\ed to Terre Haute and engaged in real estate business. 


Hon. Joseph B. Cheadle, congressman from the ninth district in Indiana, 
was born in Vermillion county, Indiana, read law with Judge Maxwell, of 
Rockville, admitted to the Ijar here about 1868, became deputy collector of 
internal rex'enue, was a candidate for nomination for a number of offices, 
gradualh- drifting out of law into editorial work, had charge of the Hoosier 
State, at Newport, nine months, in 1870, then the Rockville Republican and 
Rock7'illc Tribune, later becoming editor of the Frankfort Banner, Clinton 

Joshua Jump, born in Ohio in 1843, studied law with R. N. Bishop, at 
Paris. Illinois, was admitted to the bar, and came to Newport in 1869, where 
his partnerships were in succession with William Eggleston, Robert H. Sears, 
James Blanchard, John D. Cushman, and from March, 1879, to March, 1885, 
C. W. Ward. From 1885 to 1886 he was circuit judge. In June, 1887, he 
removed to Terre Haute. Politically, he was a Democrat, and was an im- 
]jortant figure in his part}- in state and county political work. 

Adam Littlepage, from West Virginia, was admitted to the bar in Ne\\-- 
port, Februar\- 6. 1883, formed a partnership with John A. Wiltermood, 
which existed about three years. He married the daughter of S. S. Collett, 
and tlien returned to West Virginia. 

Jolin .\. Wiltermood, who was in j888, postmaster at Newport, was ap- 
];i)inled t(i the position in September, 1885. He was born in Vermillion town- 
shi]) tliis count}-, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph \\'. Wiltermood, and was 
reared on his ])arents' farm, most of his early youth being spent in Eugene 
township. He attended the State Normal at Indianapolis in 1878-79, taught 
school three vears, studied law in the ofifice of Judge Jump, admitted to ])rac- 
tice February 6, 1883, as.sociated professionally with H. H. Conley two years, 
and w ith .Adani Littlepage about three years. 

The Newport bar, in 1888, consisted of gentlemen: M. G. 
Rhoads, P.. S. Aikman, C. ^^^ ^^'ard, O. P. Cib.son, H. H. Conley and J. C. 

In the winter of 1874-75 Messrs. Jump and M. G. Rhoads were attorneys 
for a fugitive from Illinois, charged with .stealing horses, and succeeded in 
releasine him froni the custody of the officers. This raised much excitement 
auiong the citizens of Newport, and indignation meetings were held, as well as 
in other sections of Vermillion county. The officer holding the fugitive had 
not the proper authority in the case. 



Henry Adainson, Clinton; Joseph VV. Amis, Clinton; Daniel C. Johnson, 
Clinton; Hezzie B. Pike, Clinton; John A. Wiltermood, Clinton; E. P. Zell, 
Clinton; G. Edmond Bingham, Clinton; R. E. Guinn, Clinton; Frank R. 
Miller, Clinton; Frank Smith, Dana; George D. Sunkel, Dana; Ed. B. James, 
Dana; Miller W. Coffin, Cayuga; Charles Hosford, Cayuga; Oscar D. Zell, 
Cayuga; Homer B. Aikman, Newport; Hugh A. Conley, Newport; VV. Burt 
Conley, Newport; Charles j\l. Iniltz, Newport; Ed. E. Neel, Newport; Martin 
G. Rhoades, Newport; William C. Wait, Newport; Homer Galloway, New- 
port; Forest Ingram, Newport; Harrison T. Payne, Newport; John B. Butler. 



In the settlement of every new country the medical profession is usually 
among the first to establish itself. The first settler, the family doctor and the 
traveling minister, is about the order in which the first steps toward develop- 
ment are taken. As much as may be said against the doctor when one is in 
possession of good health and has no need for the medicine chest and the faith- 
ful adviser, the time soon comes to one and all when the sight of the physician 
is welcome. During the weary hours of the night, passed in the lonely pioneer 
cabin, the sick person with a fevered brow and hectic flush watched patiently 
for the coming of the doctor, with his saddle-bags, which contained many 
distasteful drugs of the old-school compounds, yet were looked upon with 
great favor in days and nights of sickness and swallowed in the hope that 
strength and vitality might again bless them. These pioneer doctors made 
their trips over hill and glade, through all kinds of weather, facing the storms 
of winter and the burning sun of mid-summer, in order to reach the bedside 
of the sick in time to be of service to them in the hour of their distress. Mam- 
of the bills for such service were never paid, but the faithful doctor never 
stopped to consider the payment of the bill, going on his professional call to 
cure, and not solely to add to his own treasury. Scores of these old-time 
physicians were excellent doctors, understood human nature and knew nnicli 
more than they have been credited with in these later years. True, the science 
of mdicine had not progressed to the high degree that now obtains, yet the suc- 
cess attained in caring for the ills of fifty and se\'enty-fi\'e years ago compares 
favorably with that of today, except in contagious and epidemic diseases, in 
which the more recent physicians are undoubtedly superior to their forefathers. 

The first physician to locate in Clinton was Dr. Joseph Hopkins, who 
came from Ohio in 1830, or possibly a little before that year. He was an ac- 
ceptable physician, practiced a number of years and died out West, leaving a 
wife and two daughters. Peace to his ashes ! 

Dr. Eastman practiced here about the same time above named, but little 
can now be learned of him. 

Dr. 1. S. Palmer, a graduate of one of the Philadelphia medical colleges, 



settled in Clinton dvn-ing the pioneer period, accumulated some property, but 
finally became very intemperate and lost what he had honestly made. He 
finally lost his own life in a most horrible manner, although not intoxicated 
at the time. Visiting a patient across the river Wabash, one day about 1863, 
he noticed on his return many squirrels in the woods. On arriving home he 
took his gun and started out to indulge in the sport of a chase. While crossing 
the river on the ice he broke through, but held himself from being drawn 
under by clinging to the edge of the ice, and there he held fast until parties 
had arrived from points a mile or more distant for his ■ rescue. But his 
strength gave out and he went under, never more to be seen. His body was 
never recovered. Charles Knowles nearly lost his life in trying to save the 
unfortunate doctor. 

Ohio sent another doctor to these parts in the person of Dr. William Kile, 
a man of great energy and industry. After practicing several years and 
making a small fortune, he sold out and moved to Paris, Illinois, where he 
embarked in the mercantile business, and also had a good farm which he 
cultivated, handling stock in an extensive manner. Subsequently, the Doctor 
drifted into banking. It is related of him that when visiting patients on the 
east side of the Wabash that he frequently would swim his horse, on his 
return, rather than to come a few miles out of his way to the wagon bridge. 
One time he was violently attacked with small-pox, when scarcely anyone 
thought he could survive, but his "vitativeness" was so large that, as he was 
taken out into the country for treatment, passing a store, he called out to the 
proprietor, "Save me the large pair of boots, will you?" He had very large 
feet. He died at Paris many years afterward. 

Dr. Perkins, a botanic physician, practiced here a number of years and 
finally moved to Oregon. 

Dr. Rollin Whitcomb, another botanic physician from New York, located 
here in 1841. After practicing here for a number of years, he moved to other 
parts, but again resumed practice here and remained until his death. 

Dr. I. B. Hedges accompanied his parents from New York when he was a 
mere boy, in 1824. He commenced the practice of medicine in 1845. <^"^1 
proved to be a successful doctor. He was a man of learning and stood high 
in the community. He left his family considerable property, as a result of his 
extended medical practice. 

Dr. P. R. Owen came to Clinton about 1854 from New Goshen, Indiana, 
but was a native of Ohio. When the Civil war broke out he enlisted and was 
elected captain of Company I, Fourteenth Indiana Infantry, promoted major 
and then lieutenant-colonel of his regiment: came home and practiced his 


profession until 1871, when he (Hed, leaving" a widow and several children. 
He was an excellent Methodist minister at one time. The Grand Army post 
at Clinton was named in honor of him. 

Another physician here wa,'^ Dr. Corkins,. who after a few years' prac- 
tice, removed to Texas. 

Dr. William Reeder practiced medicine at Clinton for a number of )-ears 
before the breaking out of the Civil war, in which he enlisted and held some 
office in his regiment. About 1874 he moved to Texas, where at last accounts 
he was a successful practitioner in the Lone Star state. 

Dr. J. C. Crozier was another "before the war" physician in Clinton. He 
entered the Union army as a surgeon, continued until the end of the war, 
then practiced here a number of years, finally going to \Vashington, D. C, 
where he was for many years connected with the pension department. 

Dr. William H. Stewart came in from Illinois, practiced three years 
and located in Terre Haute. In 1888 the physicians in Clinton were Drs. 
Henry Nelieker, J. H. Bogart and C. M. White. 

In Helt township the physicians of long ago included these : Dr. Hiram 
Shepard, born in Newport, this county, graduated at the Miami iMedical 
College of Cincinnati, Ohio, and practiced at Dana from 1874 on. 

Dr. Grahville O. Newton was born in Helt township, graduated at the 
named medical school, and after practicing in this county in the country for a 
time removed to Dana in September, 1885. 

Dr. Thomas C. Hood, also a nati\e of Helt township, graduated at 
Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia in 1884, located in Terre Haute 
for a short time, moving to Dana in 1885. 

Dr. John C. Harrison was born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, was a soldier 
in the Civil war. graduated in medicine at the Eclectic Medical College of 
Cincinnati, began to practice in partnership with his brother in 1868, locating 
at Dana in 1886. 

Dr. A. H. DePuy practiced in Helt township from 1856 to 187 1. moved 
to Chicago. He was a regular graduate and an excellent man. 

Dr. Frank Foncannon, a native of Helt township, i)racticed in this town- 
ship a short time, then went to Emporia, Kansas. 

From out the numerous physicians who have from time to time prac- 
ticed medicine in Vermillion township only these can now be recalled of the 
earlier ones : 

Dr. J. R. \\'illetts practiced here pre\ious to the Civil war, and moved 
from the county. For a time he was in partnership with Dr. Griffin, long since 
deceased. Dr. E. T. Collett, son of Josephus Collett, Sr., was a graduate of 


the I.ouis\ iile Medical College, practiced here and in Eugene township, and 
in 1878 committed suicide in Kansas, at the age of fifty-eight years. Drs. 
Clark and P. H. Leavitt practiced here for a number of years, part of the 
time as partners. The former moved to Danville, Illinois, and the other died 
at Newport. Dr. E. Thompson moved to Illinois and died there. He left 
Newport in the autumn of 1874. Other doctors of the township were Drs. 
M. L. Hall, Lewis Shepard and James Wallace. 

.\mong the early physicians at Eugene may be recalled the name of Dr. 
R. M. Waterman, who came in before 1837, and practiced until his death, 
about 1868, except a short time at Lodi, whence he entered the army. He 
was of the "regular" school of practice and came from Rhode Island. He 
established the first newspaper pul:)lishe(l in Vermillion county. 

Dr. James McMeen practiced here many years, and in 1886 moved to 
Danville, Illinois. Another physician here was Dr. William C. Eichelberger. 

.\t Perrysville the list of men who ha\e practiced medicine is quite 
lengthy, and includes the following : 

Dr. Dinwiddle, said to have been a surgeon of the regular army, was the 
first ph)'sician to locate at Perrysville. He left the place sometime in the 

Dr. Thornton S. Davidson came about 1839 ^""^1 'li^*^! here about 1852. 

The next physician was probably Dr. Reynolds, about 1850. 

Dr. R. M. Waterman, after practicing here a while, mo\ed to Eugene, 
where he started the Ncu's-Lcttcr, and then to Lodi, Fountain county, where 
a postofiice was named for him, "Waterman." He served in the army, as 
captain of Company A in an Indiana regiment, but contracted a disease from 
which he soon afterward died. 

Dr. A. B. Small, not a regular graduate in medicine, was in partnership 
with Dr. Waterman and others, became feeble by reason of age and finallv died 
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Dr. John Stewart Baxter, from Virginia, was a good surgeon, in part- 
nership with Dr. Spotswood for a time, and died in Perrysville in 1853. 

Dr. Dexter F. Leland, from some one of the Eastern states, arrived here 
about 1850, was a partner of Dr. Spotswood, a physician of gentlemanly 
manners, and died in three or four years after settling here. 

Dr. Lewis Clark came in 1854, was an energetic man, practiced here 
three \ears and moved to Kansas, where he died. 

Dr. Lewis Frazee, eclectic, was born in New Jerse\' in 181 5, came to 
Perrvsville in 1863, and died in December, 1881. His first wife and their 


nine children all died before him. The son George began practice in Perrys- 
ville in 1870, dying in 1878. 

Dr. J. M. Wilkerson arrived in Perr}'s\ille in 1852, and practiced a few 
years only, then removed to other parts. 

Other doctors were: L. M. Meering; John Kemp, botanic; D. M. Bal- 
lard, from 1857' until his death; Joseph H. Olds, who came before the Civil 
war, entered the Union army, whence he did not return to this county. He 
was considered a physician of more than ordinary ability and skill. 

Dr. Crooks, a young man in partnership with Dr. Clark for' a period, 
moved to Lebanon, where he died. 

Dr. B. I. Pollard, eclectic, from State Line (village), practiced in Perrys- 
ville in the early eighties and moved to Dixon, Illinois. 

In 1888 the list of physicians at Perrysville included these: Drs. E. T. 
Spotswood, James T. Henderson, James Webb. J. W. Smith, D. B. Johnson. 


Dr. Cuthbert F. Keyes, deceased, was born near Dugee Ferry, in Indiana, 
in the vear 1822, and in 1826 was brought by his parents to Vermillion countj', 
where he was reared to manhood. His father was a gunsmith and wagon- 
maker and while he kept his slaves at work in the gun factory, the white men 
Avorked at the wagon yard and he himself ran boats on the Potomac river. 
After his father's death he lived with his mother and uncle, attending school 
at Clinton, riding to and fro night and morning. He spent a portion of his 
younger life clerking in a store for his uncle and passed from this to the 
study of medicine, with Drs. Kile and Palmer at Clinton. He studied medi- 
cine some time and during this time he had to work for his board, doing any 
little odd jobs he could find, but this only helped to make the man he after- ' 
ward became. He then went to St. Louis, where he attended one term of 
lectures. June 30, 1846, he married Miss Jane Bales, they beginning their 
married life on the farm. Here he began the practice of his profession, which 
he followed until he went to St. Louis to attend a second term of lectures. Li 
this term his eyes began to fail and he became blind. He still continued the 
lectures. Professor Van Zant giving him the privilege of this term free andj 
at the close commended him for his close attention and industry, although 
he was stone blind. His eyes were treated in the city at the same time. At the 
time of the birth of his son. Dr. O. M. Keyes (now of Dane), he was blind. 
When he returned to his home from St. Louis he found, by the care and in- 
dustry of his good wife that his affairs had been kept in good order. He sut 


sequently mo\-ed to Clinton. 1jut becoming dissatisfied, he returned to his 
farm, where he practiced medicine until his death. On the morning of that 
day he arose, ate a hearty breakfast and started for Bono, about three miles 
south of Dana, to see a patient. On his way he suffered a sudden and severe 
attack of congestion of the stomach and bowels. He succeeded in reaching 
Bono and, leaving his team unhitched, staggered into Frank Austin's store, 
where he fell on the floor, exclaiming, as he fell, that he had come there to die. 
He was taken to the house of Mr. Austin, where everything possible was done 
to alleviate his intense agony. Doctor Hall was sent for. but one hour before 
he arrived, and at ten o'clock that same evening, the restless spirit of the old 
veteran took its flight to that Ijourne whence no traveler returns. Xo man 
was more successful in the county than he in his methods of treatment of dis- 
eases, and none had a more extensive professional experience. He ne\er re- 
fused a call because the patients were poor. He was one of the few who fol- 
lowed his profession not for the purpose of amassing a great fortune, but be- 
cause he took delight in alleviating the sufferings of his fellow mortals. He 
was a man of kind disposition and noble and generous impulses, and was ready 
to make any sacrifices for the accommodation of a friend or neighbor. Though 
somewhat eccentric in his style, his warm and sympathetic nature and his 
kind and generous disposition made him a host of friends. Dr. Keyes left a 
wife and three sons and two daughters, in sad bereax'ement b\- his death. 
Thus, one by one, the old pioneers pass away, leaving the world and the duties 
incumbent on life to the rising generation. 


At the date above gixen the doctors jircicticing in this county were as 
follows : 

At Clinton— Drs. G. \V. Ashley, l". H. Beeler, K. A. Evans. W. D. Ger- 
rish. C. E. Ragan, Annabale .Solarglis (Italian). D C. Shaff. .\. A. Washl)urn. 
Henry Washburn, I. D. White and Dr. Reese. 

At Perrysville — Drs. Sanders and Loomis. 

At St. Bernice — Drs. Green, Lonsdale and T. Newton. 

At Universal (Bunsen) — One physician was in active practice. 

At Newport — Drs. I. M. Casebeer, M. L. Hall and one other. 

At Cayuga— Drs. E. A. Flaugher, M. P. and S. C. Darroch, M. R. Pol- 

At Dana— Drs. O. M. Keyes. D. S. Strong. W". C. Myers, G. C. I'ritchett 
and Dr. Green. 



Perhaps, outside of the efforts to keep alive a county agricultural society 
and hold annual exhibits of farm products, there is no other organization so 
hard to keep alive and in working order as a county medical society. This 
should not be so, but such is the almost universal fact, not alone in Indiana, 
but in every section of the Union. Just when the first attempt at maintaining 
such a society of the medical men in Vermillion county was made is not now 
known. It is certain, however, that more than forty years have elapsed since 
there was such an effort put forth, and it resulted in the organization of what 
was termed the \^ermillion County Medical Society. It was in July, 1869. 
when a meeting was held at Newport, comprising James McMeen and Will- 
iam C. Eichelbarger, of Eugene: Hiram and Lewis Shepherd, of Quaker 
Point; Henry C. Eaton, of Brouillet's Creek, and M. L. Hall and C. Leavitt, 
of Newport, for the purpose of organizing a county medical society. This 
meeting adjourned to meet again a week or two later, but no further account 
is found of the affair until in 1873, when they oi-ganized, electing Dr. I. B. 
Hedges, of Clinton, president. Subsequently the membership reached twenty- 
two, but tJie association was permitted to run down in the course of about four 

The files of the Hoosier State, published at Newport, mention the fact 
that in April, 1904, state organizer. Dr. M. A. Boor, of Terre Haute, was in 
Newport and formed a count)- society, with officers as follows : President, 
M. L. Hall, Newport; vice-])resident, W. P. Darroch, of Cayuga; secretary, 
O. M. Keyes, of Dana; treasurer. O. A. Newhouse, of Hillsdale. This so- 
ciety, however, went down, as did all the others. One reason assigned is the 
fact that Clinton has most of the ])hysicians in this county, and they are 
located at the south end of the county, nearer to ^^ig"o county and Terre 
Haute, which is easier of railroad access than the northern and western part 
of this county, hence the doctors run down there and attend the society there, 
while on the northern strip of A'ermillion county the physicians can easily go 
to Danville, Illinois. 



For its size, Vermillion has always had as many, if not more, local 
newspapers than it could successfully support. 

In Clinton the history of journalism may be summed up b\- the f<jllo\ving 
changes in offices and editors, regardless of the many locations or buildings 
in which the offices were kept, which is of little account, as all business houses 
and street numbers are sul>ject to changes, for which the ordinar)- reader 
cares little. One press printed all the earlier newspapers in Clinton. sa\e the 
Argus alone. In 1873 the Clinton Exf^oncnt was established by B. S. Black- 
ledge and James R. Baker. It was decidedly a Republican organ. Its editor 
was F. L. ^Vhedon, from Ohio, at first. Baker soon sold his interest to his 
partner, and Mr. Blackledge conducted the paper until November, 1876. when 
he sold to L}-man E. Knapp. In June, 1877, he sold to R. S. Knapji, but it is 
related that King Alcohol foreclosed a mortgage and it "went up the spout." 
It raised its feeble efforts at existence next at Perrysville, as the Exponent of 
that place. It only survived a short time, and some time in 1877 it was bought 
by an attorne}' of Clinton, named H. A. White, who removed the material 
back to Clinton, and there started the H'cstcni ludianian, in the l)uilding 
later used as a meat market by Harry Dudley. It was not long before the 
politics was changed to that of National. 

White sold to T. A. Kibby, H. S. Evans and John AIcMahon. In Sep- 
tember, 1879, Mr. Kibby leased the office to L. O. Bishop and others. In 
June, 1S80, this firm purchased the Clinton Herald, to which the Jl'estern 
Indianian had been changed by Evans, and published it until July 1, 1882, 
w hen it was sold. 

August 31. 1882, Mr. Bishop established the Saturday .-lr(/iis. The 
Herald susjjended after struggling hard for over a year anrl a half. 

It was about this time that Alexander Myers entered the newspa]5er 
field, by establishing the Tomahazvk and Scalping Knife, which he very soon 
changed to the Democrat, wdiich died a natural death after six weeks' publica- 
tion. In June. 1884. there came out the Clinton Sif tings. wJiich had trouble 
to "sift" out a living for al)out three years, then went the way of all the earth. 


.\mong the pioneers in the newspaper field here, tlie Argus has pulled 
through to the present date, through storm and sunshine, ever advocating the 
honest, unbiased convictions of its editor. Lucius O. Bishop, who, through 
heated political campaigns and local Ijickerings, has steadily made new patrons 
and friends and held his old ones. He is a practical printer, and a writer of 
no uncertain language, hewing to the line, when the case demands it. but 
ever holding aloof from the low and sensational in the selection of his subject 
matter. The Avyits comes forth on Saturday each week in the year, full of 
bright, sparkling news items, and editorials such as the pen of Mr. Bishop 
has been able to inscribe for so many years. He. having been raised in a 
print-shop, knows its every intricate detail. It may be said, as of another 
paper, "If you see it in the Saturday Argus it is true." 

The Clintonian, daily and weekly, was established in the eighties and was 
the direct successor of the Clinton Republican, a foiu"-])age, six-column paper. 
Republican in its politics. The Clintonian is owned and edited by J. W. 
Pierce and is run on an improved Campbell press, by an electric motor. Sub- 
scription rate, one dollar and twenty-five cents per year. It is independent 
in politics. November 5, igi2, a daily edition was established, a six-column, 
four to eight-page, rate fi\-e dollars per annuuL The plant is fully ecpiipped 
with linotype, folder and jobbers, all run by electricity. The office has been 
twice enlarged in the last five years. The present publisher consolidated the 
Clinton Flaindcalcr (run here from 1906 to 1908 bv C. G. A^annest and C. H. 
Vaughn) with the weekly Clintonian. The present publications are up-to- 
date in all features and voice the sentiments of the enterjirising, progressive 
element in the community in which it circulates. 

The Clinton Times ( weekly ) was established in the month of Mav, 191 1, 
by S. E. Mendenhall, who was succeeded in October of the same year by 
the law firm of Johnson, Brigham & Zell, who still own and conduct the 
paper, hiring a foreman for the mechanical part of the business. It is a Re- 
publican paper, a seven-column folio in size, all home-print. The rate of sub- 
scription per year is one dollar. .\ fine job department is attached to the 
newspaper business. It is located on East Mulberry street, and the paper is 
published each Thursday, finding a good circulation in Vermillion. Parke and 
Vigo counties. 

The Dana News, one of the county's reliable, readable local newspapers, 
was established by M. L. (".riffith. of Monticello, Illinois, as a Democratic 
paper, which it is at this lime. The date of its establishment was October i. 
1885. .\pril 15. 1S87. he sold the paper to J. T. Smith, who .sold to :\Iiss 
Beatrice Tayloi- in tHt^. She sold to C. \\'. Sturm in 1898. and in 1908 he 


sold to the present owner and editor, J. H. Jordan, who conducts a six-cohimn 
eight-page paper, and has a subscription rate of one doHar and twenty-five 
cents per year. The machinery in this office is now propelled by gasoline 
power, and has included within its equipment a good job office. The name of 
this paper has changed with the whims of everj- one who has owned the 
plant. First, the Nczvs; then the rcnnillion Democrat . under J. L. Smith: 
the Record, under Miss Taylor ; the Vermillion County News, under George 
W. Sturm, and changed back to its original title, the Dana News, by its pres- 
ent editor. 

The ne\vspa])er history of Newport is indeed replete with mam' excellent 
and unique features. The first paper established there was the Olive Branch. 
by A. J. Adams, later of Danville, Illinois, fame. Its editor was A. D. Patton. 
Nearly the first, if not indeed the first, issue of this paper was dated Decem- 
ber 29. 1853. Its head (like most papers in those days) had for a motto 
catchy words. "We hold the balance with an equal hand, and weigh whatever 
justice doth demand." Politicalh', the Ollie Branch was Whig, and upon 
the organization of the Republican party became its organ in this section of 
Indiana. The first numbers of this pioneer newspaper had but little original 
matter, sa\-e an occasional editorial. The salutator}- occupied a column in 
length. It advertised with considerable gusto the fact that it liad contribu- 
tors, naming these : Rev. David Taylor, Terre Haute : Robert Ross, princi- 
pal of the Terre Haute public schools; Samuel Taylor, principal of the New- 
port Seminary: Dr. H. H. Patten, Princeton. Indiana, and J. S. Sawyer, of 

The latest telegraphic news was dated Deceml^er 17th. twelxe days prior 
to the date of the paper's issue. Most of the advertisements were from Terre 
Haute business men. One item of real local news was that the Evans\-ille & 
Terre Haute railroad had just been completed between the two points. ^\■. A. 
Henderson had the only home advertisement in the paper, which occupied an 
inch of space in one column, telling the people that he kept drugs and patent 
medicines, groceries and flour. J- -M- Hood gave notice that his telegraph 
office was situated on the east side of the Square with ]\Ir. Henderson. The 
subscription price for this paper was one dollar and fifty cents if paid in 
advance, and two dollars at the end of six months, also another fifty cents was 
demanded if it was not i^aid within the year. 



Tliis old and uni\ersallv well kiicnvn publication was the outgrowth of 
the Olkr Branch, and had its hirth in 1853. It was published at Clinton for 
a time, but later returned to Newport, where it has ever since remained. The 
proprietors and editors include Pratt & Adams, James M. Hood. Samuel H. 
Huston (1855. at Clinton), Mr. Campbell, Mitchell, Vaul ( 1858), a company 
with WilliamE. Livengood, George W. English ( 1862-63). Col. H. D. Wash- 
burn. S. B. Davis. Joseph B. Cheadle. S. B. Davis (second time). Many of 
these men became state and national characters, in one field or another. The 
halls of Congress claimed Cheadle and the battlefield claimed Washburn. 
while Davis made a record as an editorial writer of more than ordinary note. 
Mr. Davis took the paper from Washburn in January. 1868. 

In the winter of i875-;r. "Buffalo Bill'" wrote a serial for the IhuKsicr 
Staff, entitled '■Three ^■ears in Utah." 

Mr. Davis, so 'ong connected with this paper, was the county treasurer 
of Vermillion countv when the lliirt)-fi\e thousand dollar robbery occurred. 
mention of which is given in detail elsewhere in this \olume. S. B. Davis 
was, at the time he quit the paper, the oldest editor in Indiana in point of 
consecutive service, and he always ran a staunch, uncompromising Republican 
paper. He was fearless, but always fair. In 1893, on May ist, he retired 
from the actual management of the paper, and took in with him his Son. 
changing the style to S. B. Davis & Son. Three years later he again took 
charge, but had for his associates his sons, I^ird H. and F. W. Davis, who 
assisted in the work of editing and ])ublisliing the i)aper. until the senior 
i:)avis' death, Ajiril 2, M)nS, since whidi lime the son, P.ird M., has conducted 
the paper, which property was left U> the wife of S. B. Davis, who is still 
residing in Newport. The name of the business has never been changed, but 
still runs as that of S. B. Davis & Son. Bird H. Davis, present manager and 
editor, commenced the printer's trade at the age of nine years, when he had to 
stand on a box to elevate him sufificiently high to set type from the cases. He 
knows all the ins and outs of new s]);i])erd(^m and stands high among his fellow 
iournalists. The circulation of the popular Hoasicr State is extensive, going 
as it does into thirt>'-two states ;ind foreign countries. It enters two hundred 
and twenty-five i)o.stoffices in this country. It is run on a power press, by 
gasoline engine. The Hoosicr Slate is now a six-column (|uarto, thirty by 
forty-four inches in size, and an eight-i:)age paper; its publication day is 
Wednesday, and its subscription rate is one dollar and twenty-five cents per 


year. Politics, Republican. Its special feature is all the printable news. It 
has long been known as "the old reliable." 

The A'Cicspapcr Union a few years since had this concerning the present 
editor. Bird H. Davis: "He was born in Newport, Indiana, April 29, 1869. 
He has a common and high school education. He did his first work at the 
case when only nine years of age, when he had to stand on a box to reach the 
case. He would work in the office during the summer months and go to 
school in the winter time until 1887, when he became foreman of the ofifice, 
which position he held until I\Iay i, 1893, when he became manager and local 
editor, and has served in that capacity until the ]jresent day ( 1904). He is 
married and has three children." 

AMiat was styled the I'cniiillioti Transcript was started at New]K)rt in 
about 1872, as an opposition Democratic organ. b\- Harrison Junii). who ran 
it fifteen months, sunk one thousand nine hundred d(illars and then sold the 
plant, which was moved away. 


May 14, 1887. the first ])aper of tlie place was issued, as the Cavnj/ci 
Journal. James E. \\'hipple, editor and proprietor. The second paper in the 
village was the Herald, which was established about 1889. It was edited by 
gentlemen in the following order, as near as can now be determined : E. L. 
Hiberly, then Charles E. Cook, who sold to A. C. Confiff, the latter conduct- 
ing the pai)er until March 4, 1893, when it passed into the liands of Hemp- 
hill & Huls: Hemphill remained its editor until June 2, 1894, when the paper 
was Ixiught by J. Wallace Miller, and was then imblished by the Miller 
Brothers till January i, 1904, when it passed to its present owner and editor, 
A. Carter Hutchinson. It is now a se^'en-column folio, all home print : sub- 
scription price, one dollar and twenty-five cents, and in politics is Democratic. 
The printing machinery of the office is now propelled by a gasoline engine. 

Through the kindness of the present editor of the Cayuga Herald we are 
in possession of the following facts concerning other new.spaper ventures at 
Cayuga. A cop}' of the Cayuga Times, dated September 5, 1889, is in exist- 
ence. John Wooldridge was its editor. The Tribitnc. another local paper of 
the \illage. made its appearance earl\' in the nineties, and was i)u])lished l)v 
Boone ("libbons. Its career was brief, dying for lack of financial support. 
Then came the Blue Pencil by "Bob" Osborn. It was conducted a short time 
at Cayuga and then mox-ed to Perrysxille, where it existed for about two 
years longer, when its owner moved tlie outfit to Clinton, tin's county. 



The Nezt's-Letter, Vermillion county's first paper, was launched at Eu- 
gene in 1837 by Dr. R. M. Waterman and continued there six months. The 
plant was sold to J. R. Jones, who moved to Perrysville and there published 
the Perrysville Banner. T\\ o )ears later Clapp & Roney o\\ ned the paper and 
called it the Vermillion Register. It was next the Perrysville Republican, with 
Austin Bishop as editor and proprietor. R. B. Dickason published at Perrys- 
\'ille the Eagle in the years from 1852 to 1855, selling out to a Mr. Robinson, 
and he to Benjamin Snodgrass, who finally let the paper go down. This was 
the earlier and later history of journalism in Perrysville. The attempts to 
make a success of the Register and Banner and all the rest proved a failure 
financially. The Democratic organ, the Banner, was printed on a press first 
brought to Indiana in 1804, to Vincennes, whereon the Western Sim was also 

From the files of the old Pcrrysiille Banner for February. 1839, the fol- 
lowing interesting items have been extracted, throwing light as they do on 
men and customs of that period: 

J. R. Jones was editor and proprietor. This is the twenty-fourth number 
of its issue. It contains five columns to the page and was published at two 
dollars a year if paid in advance : otherwise, three dollars. The number con- 
tained a large amount of congressional and legislatixe news of this state and 
but ^ery little original or local matter. 

Hiram Barnes, of Perrysville, advertises for a "professional" man to 
take charge of an ox team. Fdmuud James, a justice of the peace, of Helt 
township, publishes an attachment notice, on the affidavit of Silas Rhodes, 
against the chattels of Simon and Martin Gilbert. The name of Permelia 
Smith appears as the administratrix of the estate of Daniel Smith. George W. 
Palmer, justice of the peace, notifies the readers that Fphraim Driscol, of 
Highland township, had taken up an estray steer, four years old, which was 
appraised at twelve dollars by James ^^'elch and Tom Lowers. James Thomp- 
son, school commissioner of the county, gives fair warning that he will sell 
fifteen tracts of land for taxes, if not paid Ix^fore the day of sale. S. and B. 
Turman notify the people where they can procure cheap dry goods, etc. Will- 
iam W'hipps gives notice of his appointment as administrator of the estate 
of Thomas J. Reed, lately deceased. Perrin Kent also gives notice to the 
effect that he has taken out letters of administration on the estate of John 
Taylor, late of Warren county, deceased. The widow and heirs of Jacob 


Parke give due notice that the}- wiU make application to the next court to 
have commissioners appointed to assign and set off the widow' s dower, in the 
real estate of said deceased. Dr. Waterman gives notice that the partnership 
heretofore existing betw^een himself and Dr. Small is dissolved. Crawford & 
Jackson, proprietors of an oil mill, advertise that they will gi\-e the highest 
price for flax and hemp seed, or castor beans. George W. Palmer offers a one- 
horse wagon and harness cheap for cash. J. \Y. Downing, justice of the peace, 
gives notice that an iron gray mare taken up by James Rush was appraised by 
William T. Dole and A. M. H. Robinson at forty-five dollars liefore him on 
November 24, 1838. William Bales, sheriff, ad\ertises the real estate of 
John Fousdick for sale at public auction to satisfy- a judgment in favor of 
Silas Kellough, William Dunning and I. Dill. Joshua Skidmore, of Clinton, 
gives notice as follows : ''Whereas my w-ife, Mary, has left my bed and board 
without just cause or provocation, I do hereby warn all ])ersons, body politic, 
or corporate, and of whatever name or title, not to credit or harbor her on my 
account, as I am determined not to pay any of her debts after this date, Janu- 
ary I, 1839." The names of Durham Hood and Margaret Craft appear as 
administrators of the estate of John Craft, late of Eugene. Roseberrv & 
Jewett, dry goods merchants, of I^errysville, occupy about one-third of a 
column in enumerating their large arri\-al of new goods. William J. Nichols 
and James IP Corey, of Eugene, inform the people where to get their saddles 
and cheap harness. Dr. T. S. Davidson tenders his professional services to 
the citizens of Perrysville and adjoining country. Hall & Gessie announce the 
reception of new goods in a neat two-inch card. Jones & Smith call attention 
in a four-inch card to their stock of fall and winter goods. Nathan Reed and 
J. H, McNutt recjuest that those indebted to them for professional services 
come forward and scjuare up by cash or note immediately. Jacob Riley in- 
forms the readers that he has found a silk handkerchief supposed to be worth 
a dollar and a quarter, which the owner can have by paying for the adver- 
tisement. G. ^^^ Palmer, justice of the peace, gives notice that John Fultz 
has taken up two estray heifers which w-ere appraised at six dollars each, by 
Samuel Lacy and James Crawford, before him December 15, 1838. 


The first banking house established in Vermillion county was the First 
National Bank, at Newport, by Josephus and John Collett, Abel Sexton, Isaac 
Porter, R. H. Nixon and Clark Leavitt, who opened up in a fine new bank 
building erected especially for that purpose, at the northwest corner of the 
public square. It was not long before it surrendered its "national" charter and 
under the same toard of directors, it was changed in title to the Vermillion 
County Bank, with a paid-up capital of $60,000 and a surplus of over $6,000. 
In January, 1880. it was again changed, taking the name of Collett & Com- 
pany's Bank, comprising Prof. John Collett, of Indianapolis, Stephen V. Col- 
lett, of Newport, INIrs. Henry H. Campbell, of Crawfordsville, and Joshua 
Jump i)f Newport. Later, S. S. Collett became general manager and J. D. 
Collett, cashier, and the capital in 1887 was $27,000. This bank went out of 
business in 1892. 

At Clinton, the Citizens Bank, now located at No. 141 Main street, was 
organized in April, 1893, with Decatur Downing, president: \\'. H. Bonner, 
cashier. Tlie officers in 191 2 were: William H. Robinson, president: Will- 
iam L. ;\Iorey, vice-president: A. ^^^ Hedges, cashier: U. G. Wright, assistant 
cashier. The capital stock is now $40,000. having been increased from $22.- 
000. The bank ]iurchased a business block on the west side of Second street 
(usually called Main street), which they have occupied a number of years: at 
first they were located on the east side of the same street. The present direc- 
tors of this institution are W. H. Robinson, David McBeth, W. L. Morey, M. 
M. Scott and A. W. Hedges. The total resources of the bank were, in the 
autumn of 1912. $407,535.93. 

At the close of business November 26. 1912, their statement to the 
auditor of state showed the following figures : 

Loans and di.scounts $27,-.27,;^.yc) Due from other banks $112,740.00 

Overdrafts 129.23 Cash on hand 21,716.00 

U. S. bonds 10,000.00 Checks and drafts 494-25 

Other bonds and securi- Premiums paid on bonds. 722.00 

ties 19,500.00 

Banking bouse 5.000,00 Total resources $407,535.93 


Capital stock $ 40,000.00 Demand deposits $315,254.52 

Surplus 30.000.00 Demand certificates 14,488.04 

L'ndivided profits 3,700.00 

Exchange, discounts, etc. 4,093.37 Total liabilities $407,535.93 

The First National Bank at Clinton was organized in December, 1902, 
by L. A. Whitcomb. The officers were: James H. Wilson, president; Ed- 
ward Shirke, vice-president; J. Clark Smith, cashier. The present and first 
capital of this institution was $30,000. The present officers are: Joseph \V. 
Strain, president; Edward Shirke, vice-president; O. V. Houston, cashier. 
The directors are: Edward Shirke, Harmon K. Morgan, Frank L. Swine- 
hart, B. H. Morgan, Joseph W. Strain, John R. Newton, Hal R. McClellan. 
The November statement of this bank shows the following : 

Loans and discounts $188,373.36 Capital paid in $ 30,000.00 

Overdrafts 146.95 Surplus 11,000.00 

U. S. bonds 7,500.00 Undivided profits 3,902.49 

Other bonds 14,000.00 Circulation 7,500.00 

Bank furniture and fix- Deposits 284.014.39 

tures 12,000.00 

Due from banks and U. S 94,312.16 

Cash in vault 20,084.35 

Total resources $336,416.88 Total liabilities $336,416.88 

The First National Bank of Dana was organized in 1901, with the same 
officers as are still serving: S. E. Scott, president; S. J. Hall, vice-president; 
Charles Wolfe, cashier; S. E. Scott, S. J. Hall, Charles Wolfe, T. H. Catlin. 
J. Jump, Joel Hollingsworth, S. E. Kaufman, Josepli Jackson and J. H. 
Fillinger, directors. 

This bank commenced with a capital of $25,000, which has/ljeen increased 
to $40,000. Their statement September 4, 1912, reads as follows: 

Loans and discounts $192,039.72 Capital stock $ 40,000.00 

Overdrafts 2,382,46 Surplus fund 30,000.00' 

United States bonds 25,000.00 LTndivided profits 1,630.89 

Other bonds 8,900.00 National bank notes — out 25,000.00 

Inirniture and fixtures, __ 1,908.27 Ihipaid dividends 262.00 

Cash and exchange 118,066.96 Deposits 251,404.52 

Total resources $348,297.41 Total liabilities $348,297.41 


Not receiving the regular data for the State Bank of Dana, the author 
has gathered tlie following concerning this institution. This bank was or- 
ganized in 1885 and incorporated in 1905. Its present capital is $30,000; 
surplus and undivided profits, $14,000. 

The First National Bank of Cayuga was organized August i, 1908, 
when they erected their own bank building. This hank was established im- 
mediately after the failure of the private bank of Malone & Son. It now has 
a capital of §25,000, with $9,000 additional as a surplus, making $34,000 of 
a working capital. The first officers were Oscar O. Hamilton and Matthew P. 
Hoo\er. The jiresent officials are : Oscar O. Hamilton, president ; Henry C. 
Randall, vice-president; Matthew P. Hoover, cashier. The present (1912) 
stockholders are Milton W. Coffin, William T. Coffin, Samuel Collison, Oscar 
O. Hamilton, Matthew P. Hoover, Monroe G. Hosford, Henry C. Randolph, 
George L. Watson. William H. Roach. At the close of business June 7, 1911, 
the following was the statement made by this bank : 

Loans $100,326.99 Capital stock $ 25,000.00 

U. S. bonds to secure cir- Surplus 3,000.00 

culation 25,000.00 Undivided profits 4,328.23 

Bonds and securities 13,991.47 Circulation 24,990.00 

Banking house, furniture Reserved for taxes 304.16 

and fixtures 8.000.00 Deposits 125,460.55 

Cash on hand and due 

from hanks 34,514.48 

Due from V. S. treasurer 

(5 iier cent, fund) 1,250.00 

Total resources $183,082.94 Total liabilities $183,082.94 

The Citizens State Bank of Newport was organized in December, 1904. 
in which year tliey purchased the building in which they are still located. It 
was organized by the citizens of Newport and vicinity, who felt the need of 
a second bank at the county seat town. The first officers were : Maurice 
Hegerty, president; William P. Bell, cashier. There were originallv fortv- 
four stockholders and the capital was $25,000. The present officers are: 
Maurice Hegerty, president; V. N. Asbury, cashier. The present board 
of directors are A. R. Newlin. Guy F. Newlin, C. P. Potts, Silas V. Morgan, 
M. L. Holt, Maurice Hegerty, E. B. Brown and Charles M. Fultz. 

R. H. Nixon & Company's Bank, at Newport, was organized in 1872. 
with R. H. Nixon as its president. The same year in which the l)ank was 


Started a bank building was erected, and in 1892 the bank was partly burned, 
causing a loss of $1,500 above the insurance collected. In 1886 the bank 
had its safe blown open, but the robbers did not succeed in entering the inner 
chest, hence the loss was only $750. Its present capital is $30,000, with sur- 
plus amounting to $15,000. The officers now are: R. H. Xixon, president: 
H. V. Nixon, cashier: B. R. Nixon, assistant cashier. 



Before the introduction of canals and railroads, or even before wagon 
roads had been provided, the Wabash valley was the center of attraction, 
for the Wabash river was the only means of transportation of products and 
supplies. The towns and villager .along this river were thus made the centers 
of trade and exchange. All the adjoining region, to the east in Indiana and 
to the west in Illinois, was compelled to bring its produce to the river Wabash 
for transportation to New Orleans and other Southern ports and markets. 
At first flat-boats by hundreds and thousands, forty, fifty, sixty, one hundred 
and one hundred and twenty feet in length, were constructed, loaded with 
pork, hogs, beef cattle, corn, wheat, oats and hay and sent down south. 
Five hundred of these boats were sent out of the Big Vermillion river from 
Eugene, Danville and other points on that stream in a single season. Scarcely 
a day in the April. May and June floods but that from twenty to forty of 
these boats would pass. They were generally manned by a steersman, who 
also acted as captain ; four oarsmen, with long side sweeps, and one general 
utilitv boy who did the cooking. Supplies of food were taken along, and no 
boat was considered safely equipped which had less than twenty gallons of 

To the boatmen this journey was a source of delight and pleasure, and 
one that even attracted the attention of minds like that of Abraham Lincoln. 
There was something about the romance of these "down-rix-er" trips that 
charmed the young and middle-aged. The water, the free open air, the 
natural scenery and health-giving exercise, all conspired to draw many men 
and youth into this occupation. Those who made these trips came home with 
a large fund of interesting stories of the Mississippi river and the cities along 
its either shore. 

Dozens of captains and boatmen li\ed in Clinton, Eugene and Perrysville, 
Sometimes the boatmen would come north through the Cherokee Nation on 
foot. This trip, bowe\er, was considered a dangerous one on account of the 
noted gang n\ robbers known as "Murreirs Gang," of southern Illinois and 
western Kentucky. Many men from southern Indiana, Ohio and east Ken- 



tucky were rol.)l)ed, Imt fortunately none from A'ermillion count}- were ever 
thus attacked. 

Mercantile and other supplies were hauled b)- wagons across the .\lle- 
ghany mountains, taken down the Ohio river in flat-boats and brought by 
keel-boats up the Wabash by push-poles and cordeling ropes, which were 
sent in advance, tied to trees and wound up on improvised capstans. The 
first steamboat made its appearance on the Wabash in 1820, and it was a 
great and much-talked-of event, creating much public excitement. The peo- 
ple, one and all, wondered and rejoiced at the steaming monster. The scream- 
ing fife, the throbbing drum and the roaring cannon welcomed the newly 
applied power. Soon steamers became more Lommon, as one or more might 
have been seen passing each day up or down the gently winding banks of the 
Wabash. Once, when the Vermillion was at its flood-tide and the river at 
Perrysville was obstructed with ice, as many as eleven steamers sought har- 
bor at Eugene. 


Before steamboat days, howe\er, especially in the autumn and summer 
months, goods were brought from EA-ansville and Cincinnati by wagon. Men 
usualh^ went in companies for mutual protection and assistance, with five or 
si.x-horse teams. One of the lead horses always wore a set of bells. If a team 
got stuck in a mud hole, which they frequently did. it was the custom for 
any other teamster with the same number of horses to make an effort to pull 
the wagon out. In case of success the bells changed ownership. In this way 
the bells A\ere constantly changing from one to another. In a few \ears the 
river boats superseded this expensive mode of shipping. 

Twenty-five years and more ago it was written of A'ermillion countv : 
"The surface of Vermillion county is naturally far more fa\orable for wagon- 
ing than most counties in Indiana. In addition to this, the enterprising citi- 
zens have added the following well-established turnpikes : One from Newport 
to Walnut Grove and Eugene ; Newport to Quaker Point ; from a point on 
the latter to Dana; from Dana to Clinton; from Clinton to the state line, on 
the Paris road; Clinton to the county line, on the road to Terre Haute; 
from Perrysville southwest about eight\- miles. 


Here in \'ermillion, as in all Indiana counties, the systems of railroads 
lia-i-e had much to do with the development of the countv, the building and 


undoing of long-ago-platted villages. As early as 1847— sixty-five years ago 
—an east and west line of railway was projected through the county, yet the 
north and south railroad (now the Chicago & Eastern Illinois) was the first 
to be completed. The division from Evansville to Terre Haute was built in 
1853-4: but the link through Vermillion county, connecting Terre Haute 
with Dan\-il!e. was not finished until it was taken up by Joseph Collett, Jr., 
in 1868-69. This wealthy, enterprising gentleman, assisted by O. P. Davis, 
Nathan Harvey, William E. Livengood, Joseph B. Cheadle and others, held 
rousing meetings throughout this county, and thoroughly, honestly explained 
the advantages of the railroad and the feasibility of building it w^ith a very 
light tax. But little opposition was met with, nearly everyone desiring such 
a railroad communication. In 1869 all the townships in this county voted a 
two per cent, tax, the limit in Indiana for such purposes. It was really one 
per cent, in addition to the one per cent, tax which the county agreed to give, 
provided it should be needed. 

^^'hile this enterprise was going forward, other men were working on 
what wa'^ st>led the "Raccoon Valley Railroad Compan\-," planning to con- 
struct a railroad from Harmony, Clay county, to a point on the state line, 
near the roadbed of the old Indiana & Illinois Central railroad, passing 
through Clav, Parke and X'ermillion counties: but it was generall\- supposed 
bv the citizens of A'ermillion county to be a ruse, just prior to the vote to be 
taken on the north and south line, to defeat the latter. Another discourage- 
ment arose from other projected east and west lines, notably the narrow- 
gauge route through Eugene township, in which the people along that line 
felt much interest. The ensuing election, however, gave a decided majority 
for aiding the north and south line, then called the Evansville, Terre Haute 
& Chicago railroad. This, under the management of Mr. Collett. was com- 
pleted in 1870, to the uni\-ersal satisfaction of the people of Vermillion 
count}-, l)ut not to many of the \-illages along its line, for the road was con- 
structed in the interests of the traders at Terre Haute and Danville mnre than 
for the local good of these villages and towns in Vermillion countw Tlie 
road was located a mile or more from many of these towns, except at Clinton, 
which took on new life and has prospered ever since, \\hile manv of the ri\-er 
towns have suffered bv reason of this line having been located so far back 
from the original town sites. 

Air. Collett was elected president of the railroad and remained its exec- 
utixe head until May r, 1880. when this link or division of the road was 
lea-^cMl til the Chicago &: Eastern Illinois Company, which corporation still 
ownv and -lu'cessfully i)])cvalcs it. in N'ermilliini cmuity there are 34.1.? 


miles of main track, and as early as 1880 it was assessed at $17,000 per mile: 
seven miles of side-track, assessed at $2,500 per mile, and rolling stock at 
$1,300. The principal stations in this county are Clinton, Summit Grove, 
Hillsdale, Opeedee, Newport, Walnut Grove. Cayuga (Eugene), Perrysville, 
Gessie, and Rileysburg. 


What is now known as the \\^abash system was the first road proposed 
from east to west through Vermillion county. It was projected in 1847 and 
was designed to run from Toledo Ohio, to Spring-field, Illinois. Stock was 
subscribed in Vermillion count}- and the route surveyed. The first effort 
was to build the road to Paris and then on to St. Louis. After much grading 
had been done, the enterprise changed management, and the result was that 
the route was changed and Lafayette and Attica obtained the road, instead 
of Vermillion county. It was finished in 1851-52. The men who worked 
day and night for this line to be located through A'ermillion county were 
James Blair, J. F. Smith, J. N. Jones, of Perrysville, and Joseph Moore 
and Robert Piarnett, of Eugene. But their work failed to secure for this 
county the coveted railroad. After struggling and waiting many long years 
a company was finally successful in obtaining two and one-fifth miles of rail- 
road and a small flag station, the corporation being then styled the Indianapo- 
lis, Bloomiiigton & Western, but in the late eighties this was taken o\er by 
the present system styled the "P)ig Four.'" which crosses the ^^'abasll river 
at Covington, Fountain county, and simply touches Vermillion territor}- as 
above noted, less than three miles in di.stance of main track. 


This railway \\as completed in 1874, without much aid from the people. 
About 1854. when so many roads were projected and so few finished, the 
Indiana & Illinois Central RaihAa\' Company nearly completed the grading 
of this route. Later the Indianapolis, Bloomington & Western Company 
leased the road. It has nine and a half miles within Vermillion count\', with 
station points at Hillsdale and one at Dana, near the state line between In- 
diana and Illinois. Subsequently, it passed into the hands of what is known 
as the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Company, and they operated it until 
the summer of 1912. when it was taken over by the Baltimore & Ohio system. 
It crosses the Wabash at Hillsdale, passes through the southern )x-)rtion of 
Montezuma, and so on through Parke county. 




More than any other portion of VermilHon. the citizens of Eugene town- 
ship were interested in the old narrow-gauge hne. They voted a tax, took 
subscriptions, and aided in all possible ways, but finally the project failed. 
The link here was then known as the Frankfort & State Line Road. The 
Toledo, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad Company constructed the road, of a 
narrow gauge, in 1882, but, like the original company, left the village of 
Eugene a mile and a half away, crossing the Chicago & Eastern Illinois line 
at Cayuga. In 1886 the company was reorganized under the name of the 
Toledo, St. Louis & Kansas City Railway (narrow gauge). They proceeded 
to enlarge the track to the standard gauge, put on first-class rolling stock and 
made the highway in all respects ui>to-date. The longest bridge on this 
road is the one crossing the Wabash opposite Eugene, having five spans of 
one hundred and sixty feet each. There are eight and one-half miles of this 
road within A'ermillion county. 


Clinton, in this county, is the western terminus of the Terre Haute, In- 
dianapolis & Eastern Traction Company, that has a line from Terre Haute to 
Clinton, and runs its interurban trains every hour of the day, making a 
great convenience for the people desiring to trade in Terre Haute. It is a 
well equipjjed electric highway with all modern improvements. 


This railroad was generally staled the "Walsh road" on account of its 
having been built largely through the capital furnished by that noted capital- 
ist and Chicago banker, John R. Walsh, who finally was arrested for mis- 
management of the people's money and, after serving in the government 
prison in Kansas for his ill-doings, was pardoned after several years, and 
soon died. This line of railroad, in its course from Chicago to the great coal 
fields of Indiana, runs through Danville and Terre Haute sections and, en 
route, traverses the western line of \'crniillion county, with a station or two, 
including West Dana, where il crosses the old Cincinnati, Hamilton & Da)'- 
ton road. It was projected and completed early in the first decade of this 
century, al)OUt 1905. It transports immense quantities of coal. The length 
of its main track in this county is a fraction o\-er seventeen miles. 



According to the latest official returns to the state authorities, the fol- 
lowing is the mileage for the various railroads within Vermillion county : 

Clinton City — Chicago & Eastern Illinois, eighty-nine one-hundredths 

Dana (town) — The Indianapolis, Bloomington & Western (now Balti- 
more & Ohio), one-half mile. 

Newport (town) — Chicago & Eastern Illinois, twenty-four one-hun- 
dredths miles. 

Cayuga (town) — Chicago & Eastern Illinois, ninety-eight one hun- 
dredths miles. 

Clinton City — Chicago & Eastern Illinois, eighty-nine one-hundredths 

Highland Township — Chicago & Eastern Illinois, eight and eighty-seven 
one-hundredths miles. Peoria & Eastern, two and nineteen one-hundredths 

Eugene Townshij) — Chicago & Eastern Illinois, six and nine one-hun- 
dredths miles. Toledo, St. Louis & Western, five and se\ent}'-nine hundredths 

A^ermillion Township — Chicago & Eastern Illinois, six and seventy-three 
one-hundredths miles. Chicago, Terre Haute & Southeastern, two and twen- 
ty-nine one-hundredths miles. 

Clinton Township — Chicago & Eastern Illinois, one and eighty-five hun- 
dredths miles. Chicago, Terre Haute & Southeastern, six and three one- 
hundredths miles. 

Helt Township — Chicago & Eastern Illinois, nine miles. Chicago, Terre 
Haute & Southeastern, nine miles. The C. I. & \\\ line, eight and seventy- 
four hundredths miles. 

Total mileage in county, seventy-two and sixty-five one hundredths 
miles. Main line tracks only given. 


In 1910 the following gravel roads were listed by the county as having 
been constructed and then in use : 

In Highland township there were sixty miles. 

In Eugene township there were twenty-three miles. 


In VeiTnillion township there were fifty-one miles. 

In Halt township there were seventy-six miles. 

In Clinton township there were sixty-six miles. 

The average number of miles per township was fifty-five and sixty-eight 
one-hundredths miles. The total mileage in Vermillion county was at that 
date three hundred. 



Indiana is a farming state, and among her small, but excellent, agricul- 
tural districts is Vermillion county, washed by the western shores of the 
famous W'abash river. Indeed it has been long ago remarked that "every 
foot of this county is good farming land." Originally, one-fourth of its area 
was prairie and three-fourths timber land. The most of the prairie land is a 
rich black soil, while the remainder of the county is rich bottom land of the 
first and second variety. The entire county is easily drained and available to 
good cultivation. Especially the lower bottom lands are ricli, much of it 
being subject to inundations, which leaves a sediment equal to the soil found 
in the celebrated valley of the Xile in Egypt. Here corn is supremely en- 
throned as king of the crops produced. Also as high as sixt}-five bushels of 
wheat have been raised per acre, while one hundred and ten bushels of corn 
have been raised in Vermillion county. 

At an early day, flax was grown in unmense quantities. The flax pro- 
duced was mixed with cotton purchased, and woven into clotli. Then ever}- 
house was a miniature factory. The machinery used for manufacturing flax 
consisted of a brake, a wooden knife to swingle out shives with, a hetchel or 
hackle to remove the tow and straighten out the lint. They also used the 
small spinning wheel ("jenny") to twist it into thread. Eor cotton, a hand 
gin was used, and hand cards were employed to make it into rolls, which 
were spun into thread upon a large spinning-wheel. .\ day's work for a 
woman was to card and spin from six to eight cuts. Ready-made clothing 
was not then known in the markets of the world. Nearly every man was his 
own shoemaker. Some of the more busy settlers employed an itinerant cob- 
bler, who usually made his trips from house to house in the autumn months 
and winter season, having with him his little kit of shoemaker's tools, with 
which he took the measure and made by hand the boots and shoes needed in 
the family. If the leather ran out before the youngest child was "shod," 
then he or she had to go without shoes, which often happened. 

When this county was settled, no one could take less than a quarter 
section of land, which at government price was two dollars per acre, and this 


often strained the purse of the would-be land buyer. Congress soon found 
out the hardship this worked and, desiring that all should be permitted to 
engage in farming pursuits, which is the policy of all progressive govern- 
ments, it reduced the amount that might be entered to forty acres, and placed 
the price at one dollar and a quarter per acre, which permitted anyone who 
could raise fifty dollars to secure a comfortable home for himself and family, 
if he was fortunate in having one to help him enjoy the independence and 
battle with the hardships of a true-hearted pioneer farmer. Many men took 
advantage of this wise congressional provision and entered from fort\' to one 
hundred and sixty acres of Vermillion county land. This was the base of the 
agricultural prosperity found on every hand in this coimty today. 

While statistics are usually "dry reading," these must be presented in 
order to show the resources of the soil and mine. Hence the reader is re- 
ferred to extracts from state reports on the subject, and in this case the items 
will be condensed as far as practicable, and are as follows, for the year 1880 
— thirty -two years ago — and also for 1910: 

In 1880, \'ermillion county was reported to have produced 635,000 
bushels of wheat; of corn, 663,000 bushels; oats, 76.000 bushels; barley. 
1,780 bushels; rye, more than 5,000 bushels; Irish potatoes, 18,000 bushels; 
sweet potatoes, 840 bushels; buckwheat, 160 bushels; tobacco, 1,700 pounds; 
timothy seed, 800 bushels. 

In 1910 the reports show: Corn raised, 45,000 acres. 1,739,000 bushels; 
oats, 18,857 acres, 599,000 bu.shels; wheat. 12,252 acres, 230,000 bushels; rye, 
^57 acres, ^^'772 bushels; clover seed 361 acres, 34,508 bushels; hay and 
forage. 11.000 acres, 15,000 tons; timothy, 7,644 acres, 9,701 tons; cattle, 
valued at $216,000; horses, $504,000; mules. $55,000; swine, $134,000; 
sheep. $17,000; poultry, $45,600; colonies of bees, 762, value of bees. $2,943. 

In 1910 there were 1.355 farms in the county, and they were divided as 
follows: 347 from 50 to 100 acres; 335 from 100 to 174 acres; 148 from 
175 to 260 acres; 89 from 260 to 500 acres: 12 from 500 to 1,000 acres and 
two from 1,000 and over. 

The per cent, of land area in farms ninety-one and eight-tenth's. 

Farm land improxed. eighty per cent. Average number of acres per 
farm, 110.2. Value of farm property, $13,373,000. Average price per acre 
in county, $71.79; average in 1900 was $39.51. 

Among the first plows used in this and other counties in Indiana was 
the one called the "Inill" jilow. The stock, or wood-work, of these plows 
was generally made 1)\ the farmer himself. The handles were the butts of 
bushes, the crooked roots forming tlie hand-liold. The beam was hewed bv 


hand from small, tough oak. The mold-boards were made from blocks of 
wood about twenty inches square and two inches to three inches thick. The 
inner or straight side of the mold-board was fastened to the handle and the 
outer surface was hewn out in an irregular shape. The wing of the share 
extended high up the mold-board. A loop of iron made the point. It took 
a good team, a strong man and twelve hours hard work to plow from one to 
one and a half acres with such a plow, says Smith in his history of Indiana. 

The harrow was made V shaped with wooden teeth, the whole made by 
the farmer himself. Wheat had to be harvested by a sickle, with which an 
expert could cut about three-fourths of an acre a day. In 1840, the Peacock 
plow was introduced, being named for its inventor. This implement enabled 
the farmer to plow much more than formerly and do better work. 

Corn ground was "'laid off" both ways (no check-rowers and planters) ; 
the wife, son or daughter would drop the corn at the intersections, while the 
farmer w ould follow along with his hoe and 2>roperly cover the seed. Wheat, 
oats and barley were all sowed broadcast, by hand, from a sack swung over 
the neck and shoulders. But few men could be hired, and in fact it was well, 
for the farmer had little with which to pay for help, could it have been ob- 
tained. Each family did their own farm work in those days. However, in 
harvest time, there were many roving bands of "grain cutters," who were ex- 
])erts with a sickle, who started in at the southern part of the state and worked 
north with the advancing harvest time. The best reapers could get thirty- 
seven and a half cents per day and their board, or one bushel of wheat. It 
was not until 1840 that the grain cradle came into general use in this country. 
A good cradler could cut and shock about two acres a day, "between sun and 
sun." Previous to 1840, grain was threshed with a flail, or trod out by 
horses. Two men could flail out twelve bushels a day and two men and 
horses could tramp out and winnow and separate the grain from the chaff, 
about twenty bushels a day. The winnowing and separating the grain from 
the chaff was done by hand sieves. The mixed chaff and grain was poured 
from above on the bed sheet, while two men would \ibrate the sheet so as to 
create a current of air, which would blow the chaff from the grain. The 
first threshing machine was introduced in 1839. With four horses and nine 
men. two hundred bushels of wheat could be threshed and cleaned in a dav. 
The wheat had to go through a second cleaning process later on, before it 
was suited for the mill. It took three men two days to clean and tie up in 
sacks what would be threshed in one day. 

The scythe was the only grass mower for nio\\ing meadoAvs. .\ oood. 


Strong man could generally cut from one to two acres a day, between day- 
light and dark. The hand rake was then used to rake up the "cutting" and 
it was then stacked by means of wooden forks. With a modern mowing 
machine, one man and his team can easily cut ten acres a day and, with a 
steel-toothed horse rake, he can gather it for stacking purposes in about the 
same time. The stacking is done now, usually, by a steel fork operated by 
a man with a horse or team. Before the introduction of improved machin- 
ery, about 1840, it took one man twenty-four days to plow, seed and harvest 
ten acres of wheat and forty- four days to plow, plant, cultivate and harvest 
ten acres of corn. 

The decrease in annual crops does not in the least indicate the decline 
in agricultural interests, but simply is made plain by stating that rotation 
of crops, and putting more land into pasture, at certain times, causes this 
fluctuation in figures in the reports given by the assessor to the department 
of agriculture. 

The fruit crops, one year with another, in A'ermillion county are good, 
and a paying proposition tu the horticulturist. Apples, pears and peaches 
all do well, and many years the crop of pears has been indeed wonderful, 
both as to quality and quantity. Within three miles of Clinton, two years 
ago, there were raised a thousand bushels of choice pears, on one farm, which 
the following season had half that amount. All varieties of small fruits do 
well in this section of the state, and add much to the resources of the farm. 
While many vegetables are grown here, the farmer makes the major part of 
his money from the production of corn and the stock that he raises and feeds 
for the markets of the world. "The Wabash Bottoms" have been known 
since the first advent of white tillers of the rich soil, to be famous as a corn- 
growing section. 


Naturally, a good farming county has good farm associations and agri- 
cultural societies, by which one farmer may see the manner in which his 
fellow-farmer produces crops. Not nearly enough attention, however, is 
paid to this matter, and in consequence the farmer and business man sufifers 
loss. Whoe\er causes two blades of grass to grow where one grew before, 
or he who shows a corn raiser how to produce ten bushels of corn more per 
acre, is really and truly a great benefactor to the entire human race. Ver- 
million county was slow to realize the importance of organizing and keeping 
up annual fains, and not until 1866. just after the close of the Civil war, was 
any attempt made to form an agricultural society. One was then formed 


and continued to hold its annual exhibits at Newport until 1879, when, on 
account of the railroad running through the grounds of the society, public 
opinion so changed and interest was so slackened that it was practically 
abandoned. In 1880 a joint-stock company was organized, but that never 
materialized to any considerable extent. In 1887 two agricultural societies 
were organized, one, the Vermillion County Fair Association, having its 
headquarters at Eugene, and another, the Vermillion County Joint- Stock 
Society, with headquarters at the county seat, Newport. Both societies held 
fairs that year, but on account of the bad weather the one at Eugene was a 
dismal failure, while the one at Newport had receipts amounting to two 
thousand two hundred dollars and every premium was paid in full. Two 
hundred and fifty stalls were occupied by horses and cattle. Steam water- 
works and reservoirs were used. No drunkenness or gambling was allowed 
on the grounds and all passed ofif as it should. Of later years the county 
fairs have been allowed to run down and none are now held — and it is to be 
regretted, too. 



Aside from agriculture, the greatest source of annual revenue to the 
citizens of X'ermillion count)' are its coal mines, which are very extensive 
and prolific of much output, returning a large revenue to the operators and 
people in general, who reap from the immense shipments of the best grade 
of bituminous coal found in the state. As large as the mining interest is 
already, it has been estimated by experts in coal lands, and b\- geologists, 
that the zenith of its development will not have been reached for another 
c[uarter of a century. The six principal coal mining companies are oper- 
ating nearly a score of separate mines, and are employing upwards of three 
thousand men. One of the largest and most thoroughly modern, up-to-date 
collieries in the United States is located near Clinton, the Bunsen Coal Com- 
pany, a subsidiary of the United States Steel Corporation. More than three 
and one-half million dollars are invested in this one plant for mining soft 
coal. When one contemplates the fact that the coal measure of the United 
States is limited to a few states, and to a small portion of these few states, 
and that more than ninety million people are depending largely on these coal 
mines for their fuel, both for domestic and manufacturing purposes, it will 
be better understood what a prize Vermillion county has locked up within 
her hills and valleys. The subjoined table will show the production of coal 
in Vermillion county, as contrasted with the other great coal-bearing counties 
of Indiana, in 1910. as per the state reports. Of the total number of tons, 
there were 17,429,785 tons of bituminous and 875,459 tons of block coal. 
Accom])anying the item of production, this table also shows the wages paid. 

County. Tons Produced. Wages Paid. 

Sullivan 4.339-173 $ 3.703-122 

Vigo 4,116,981 3,612,856 

Greene 3,241,690 2,532,927 

Vermillion 1,676,281 1,446,481 

Knox 1,045,868 720,091 

Clay 1 948-402 1,064,757 

Parke T27,72y 780,260 


Warrick 701,390 $ 559,108 

Pike 599.952 485.978 

\'anderburg 369,987 295,534 

Gibson 2cS5,ioi -'55.^86 

Daviess 72,692 70,986 

Total 18,125,244 $15,527,390 

An early account of the development of the coal industry in Vermillion 
county reads as follows, the same having been compiled, in 1887: "The Nor- 
ton Creek coal mines are located on the line between Clinton and Helt town- 
ships, on section 5 of Clinton township and section 7,2 of Helt township. Their 
development commenced in the month of December, 1884. F- -^- Bowen was 
the proprietor and Charles P. Walker, of Clinton, the superintendent and 
manager. In the spring of 1885, under the general laws of ^Visconsin, the 
'Norton Creek Coal Mining Company' was organized, with a paid-up capital 
of $40,000, with its general offices at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. H. M. Benja- 
min, of that city, is the president of the company, and Charles P. \\'alker, of 
Clinton, Indiana, superintendent and treasurer, and general agent for Indiana. 
Connected with the propertx- are two hundred and fifty-live acres of land. The 
mines are about two and one-half miles west of the Eastern Illinois Railroad 
and connected by a spur track. The company also owns the old Briar Hill 
mines, on section 9, Clinton township, but they are not now being worked. 

"On the southeast portion of section 5 is located the company's large 
mercantile establishment and local offices, which, with twenty-seven tene- 
ment hou'^es, constitutes quite a village, called Geneva, named in honor of a 
daughter of Superintendent Walker. The sales of coal in 1886 reached 
$160,000, and the mercantile establishment $42,000. Near the mines are 
several tenement houses, and at the Briar Hill mines elexen houses. All are 
occupied by emjjloyes of the company. The business is increasing, owing to 
the excellent quality of coal produced. Commencing with the winter of 1887- 
88 an average working force of three hundred men are employed." 

Great had been the change by 19 10, when the state reports show that 
1,042 miners were employed in this county, who were using the pick in min- 
ing bituminous coal ; received $829,000 wages, or $672 average per man dur- 
ing the year named. Then besides these men there were 286 miners engaged 
in bituminous "machine mines," receiving $228,400 jjer vear. 

The state reports of two years ago — 1910 — exhibit the following facts 
concerning the mines in oi>eratinn in \'ermillion countx' : 


Name of Mine. Tons Produced. Wages Paid. 

Dering No. 8 ^76,143 $ 227,543 

Eureka 2,763 2,620 

Crown Hill No. i- 269,241 239,691 

Crown Hill No. 2 244,533 208,682 

Maple Valley 37>784 34,826 

Buckeye No. 2 236,874 203,687 

Klondyke 266,628 203,721 

Crown Hill No. 3 244,284 230,310 

Crown Hill No. 4 18,926 20,850 

Oak Hill 7,050 . 74,470 

Totals 1,604.026 $1,446,000 


The wages paid here are about in keeping with the average in Indiana, 
of which the state reports two years ago said : "The total wages reported 
from the bituminous field being $14,318,196.12, shows an average of $741.87 
for each bituminous mine employe, and the total wages paid to block coal 
miners being $1,209,194.60, shows an average earning of $646.27 for each 
block coal employe; the aggregate wages for the state being $15,527,390.72 
and the total numl)er of employes in the state 21,171, shows an average earn- 
ing of $733.42 for each mine employe in the state." 


The following were the approximate prices received for the Indiana coal 
product in 1910, according to the last obtainable official reports: The market 
prices for bituminous coal during the period from January to April i (except 
yearly contracts) ranged from $1.15 to $1.75 per ton for mine run, free on 
board cars at the mine, the highest prices prex'ailing during the month of 
March. More coal was produced in this month than either of the two months 
preceding: $1.40 would probably l)e a fair average selling price for this period. 
From May to October i prices ranged from $2.50 down to $1.35: but a fair 
average for that jjcriod would be $1.95 per ton. From October to January i 
prices fluctuated, ranging from $1.35 to $1.50 and as low as $1.15; $1.35 
would be a fair average for this period, or a probable average of $1.60 per 
ton for bituminous coal (mine run) for the year. Market prices for l>lock 


-coal ranged from $2.25 to $3.25 per ton at the mines, $2.75 being a fair aver- 
age for the year. 

The cost of production from the bituminous fields of Indiana was figured 
a fraction in excess of eighty-three cents per ton for the labor cost for the total 
output of bituminous coal. The total wages for the block coal field was $1,209,- 
194. or a fraction over $1.38 per ton for labor cost of production of block 

In reviewing the mining industry for Indiana for the year of 1910, a 
gratifying condition of affairs was disclosed in many branches of this im- 
portant industry. A larger increase in the production of coal, stronger and 
steadier market demands, a higher a\erage selling price for all grades of coal, 
the highest average wage earned by mine employes, fewer strikes and a much 
larger tonnage per each fatal, permanent or serious accident to mine emplo}-ees 
are shown than in any preceding year in the history of the state. In 1910 
the production was 18,125,244 short tons, an increase of a fraction over 
thirty-two per cent, over 1909, the highest previous year in coal production 
in Indiana. 

A certain per cent, of this increase came from every county in the 
state, except Fountain and Perry counties, with one mine in each, which were 
idle or working less than ten men. The largest increase came from Vermil- 
lion, Vigo and Sullivan counties, and was produced by machine mines. Sul- 
livan county, with 1,539,000 tons, showed the largest increase of all the coun- 
ties, while Knox and A'ermillion were not far behind. 


Of the bituminous coal output in the state in 1910, 7,968,732 tons were 
■consumed in Indiana and 9,281,048 were shipped to other states, and of the 
block coal, 266,918 tons were consumed in Indiana and 608,541 tons shipped 
to other states, or a fraction over fifty-four per cent, of the entire production 
shipped to other states. 


The following table gives the name, owners, the geological number of 
the dififerent coal seams, character, thickness of seam and depth over overhing 
strata, of the mines being operated in Vermillion county in 1910: 



Name of Company. Name of Mine. No. Thickness. Depth. 

Brazil Block __..^-Dering No. 8 IV 5 Ft. 3 In. 200 Ft. 

Silverwood Eureka M 4 Ft. 6 In. no Ft. 

Clinton Coal Co. — -Crown Hill No. i.- V 4 Ft. 10 In. 165 Ft. 

Clinton Coal Co.— Crown Hih No. 2__ V 4 Ft. 10 In. 155 Ft. 

Clinton Coal Co.-_Crown Hill No. 3-III 6 Ft. 345 Ft. 

Clinton Coal Co Crown Hill No. 4__IV 4 Ft. 6 In. 249 Ft. 

Clinton Coal Co. — Crown Hill No. S- V 5 Ft. 182 Ft. 

Oak Hill Coal Co.-Oak Hill No. SO— V 4 Ft. 10 In. 57 Ft. 

Oak Hill Coal Co.-.Maple Valley V 5 Ft. 6 In. 225 Ft. 

Oak Hill Coal Co.-Ruckeve No. 2 V 4 Ft. 8 In. 149 Ft. 

Oak Hih Coal Co.--Klondyke -HI 7 Ft. 300 Ft. 

The only fatal accident reported to the state in 1910 was that of an 

Italian named Tomso Carlevatto, aged thirty-four years, killed by a falling 
boulder, at Crown Hill No. T, on March 7, 1910. 


In ]C)io there were two new mines opened and their first shipments of 
coal were made in the early days of December of that year. These mines are 
Crown Hill No. 4 and 5, both owned and operated by the Clinton Coal Com- 
pany. No. 4 is located on the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of sec- 
tion 29, township 14. range 9. in Clinton township: No. 5 is located on the 
southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 24, township 14, range 
TO, Clinton township. No. 4 mine is a machine mine, while No. 5 is a hand 
producing mine, both bituminous coal, running from four feet six inches to 
five feet in thickness of vein. 


The state reports give in 19 10 the following concerning the miners and 
appliances with which they work in getting out the vast tonnage of coal : 

Total Men 

employed. ]\Iules Used. Powder Used. 

Dering No. 8 298 23 1 1,460 pounds. 

Eureka 18 3 87 pounds. 

Crown Hill No. i 290 16 18,238 pounds. 

Crown Hill No. 2 244 17 17,529 pounds. 

Maple Valley 95 4 2,448 pounds. 

Buckeye No. 2 22-, 28 -14,952 pounds. 

Klondyke 217 15 13,291 pounds. 

Totals 1-387 106 84.010 pounds. 



The most exlensixe coal mines within the county, or state, are the prop- 
erty of the Bunsen Coal Compan_\', which corporation opened their works in 
the month of October, 191 1, on section 31, township 14. range 9 west. The 
president of the compam- is T. H. L)-nch; the secretar\- and treasurer, W. S. 
W'ardley: the general supenntendent, C. F. Lynch, and the superintendent, 
Charles Karral. The present machinist is George h'innigan. These mines 
are about six miles to the southwest of the city of Clinton. Three hundred 
and twenty men are now employed at the works, which are constantly de- 
\-eloping and widening out. Twenty-six mules are used under the ground for 
drawing the cars to the shaft opening, from which it is hoisted by powerful, 
modern machinery to the surface and then dumped into the waiting coal cars 
of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad, which line transjjorts most of the 
product to South Chicago. More than tliree and one-half million dollars ha\e 
iieen in\-ested in this plant, wliich now consists of Uni\'ersal Mine Xo. 4, 
which is one hundred and sixty-fi\-e feet beneath the surface, and has a vein 
of foiu' feet and eleven inches in thickness; L'niversal Mine No. 3, two hun- 
drefl and thirty-six feet deep, with a vein thickness of four feet ten inches. 
These mines bear the geological numbers of four and five. 

The output in December, 1912, was a^•eraging■ about eighteen hundred 
tons ijer day, and it is expected that soon the tw^o mines, w hich are \ery near 
one another, will have a daily output of three thousand three hundred tons 
daily. The motto of this company is "Safety, the First Consideration." The 
scientific care exercised about these immense coal-producing mines is indeed 
wonderful, even to the casual oliserver. Every appliance of safety, con- 
venience and comfort is gi\en the miners. The buildings consist of sexenteen 
residences for the use of the ofificers and superintendents; the offices, power 
house, bath house, fan houses, boiler house, blacksmith shops, granary, mule 
barns, supply house, two tipples and two engine rooms. The bath house, as 
well as all other buildings around the plant proper, is constructed of cement 
and is fire proof. The bath house is built on modern plans for miners. Here 
are afforded hot and cold w-ater, the year round. Here the miners and other 
helpers go and removing their good clothes, put on their rough working suits. 
the suits not in use being suspended high up in the spacious bath house, fast- 
ened by a strong chain and lock, the key being carried by the miners, so noth- 
ing can be stolen, even to money in the pockets, as all are hung high up to the 
ceiling and no one but the owner can get them down. Upon coming from the 

' (23) 


mine the men go at once, if they choose, to this bath room, and there take a 
wash and shower bath before putting on their better suits, when they come 
forth not looking like ordinary miners, but neat and clean. One hundred and 
sixty-five miners, in December, 1912, were availing themselves of the free use 
of this bath house. . The owners and managers of this plant have profited by 
the experience of the past methods employed in coal mining, and bettered 
every condition as far as safety and comfort is concerned, that is possible, 
tinder present conditions and knowledge. A high class of men are employe' 
From officers down, the mines are run by men of intelligence and sobriety. 

At the site of the mines has been located a village, in which there are 
already numerous business houses and a postoffice called Universal, which was 
established in October. 1912. The coal company has no interest in this vil- 
lage, its site or Ijusiness interests. They do not conduct the usual "mine 
store," out of which so much dissatisfaction has come in other mining places. 
Less than two years ago there was not a house on the present site of Bunsen : 
it has grown like magic and is destined to grow rapidly as the development 
of the mines increases. It may be added that both "hand" and "machine" 
mines are operated — Universal No. 4 is machine, while No. 5 is hand mined 



Herein are to be found \-arious items and topics not sufficient in length 
to form a separate chapter. 1nit which are replete with interest and: valuable 
facts concerning- the county's history. 


Every section of the country that has been settled by ci\-ilized peop'e for 
a century ur more has. strewn along at various points within its territory, 
some interesting landmarks of enterprises once of great value and importance 
to the community, Init w hich have long since gone to decay and can only be 
traced by the traditions of men and a few material objects, such as rusted-out 
machinery, an old water-wheel, a spindle, a shaft or some tumble-down struc- 
tiu-e in which once was heard the hum of swiftly moving machiner}-. All is 
now silent, save the memory of some old man or woman who perchance re- 
calls those pioneer da^'s and delights in telling the present generation of those 
days when life was acti\'e and earnest to liim and his companions. 

In 1839 Avhat was styled the "Indiana Eurnace'' in Clinton township, this 
county, was in full blast. It was the result of the discovery of paving quantities 
of iron ore within the community, and it grew to lie among the most extensive 
indu.stries in the Wabash valley. Here ])robabh- was produced the first pig- 
iron in Indiana. Geologists inform us. however, that the principal iron ore 
found in this county is an impure carbonate, occurring in nodules and irre- 
gular layers or bands. These nodules once supplied the material for the fur- 
nace on Brouillet's creek, where they yielded thirty-three per cent, of iron. 
The ore in Vermillion county is said to range from twentv-five to fort\--fi\-e 
per cent, of iron. Along in the eighties there was discovered in the Norton 
creek bottoms, near the head of Kelt's prairie, a bed of bog iron ore, said to 
be three feet thick and covering an area of from six to eight acres. This, 
however, has never been de^'eloped. 

The opening of the iron mines in Clinton townsln'p, in 1S37, was the 
commencement of the iron indu.stry here. The old Indiana Eurnace was in 
section 27; township 14, range 10. Stephen R. Uncles was the chief owner 


and superintendent. Associated with him were Hugh Stuart and Chester 
Clark, the firm being Uncles & Company. Years later the land and iron works 
passed into the hands of Stuart & Sprague, and still later to K. \I. Bruce & 
Company, the "company" being David Stinton. 

In 1859 (leorge B. Sparks, of Clinton, bought a controlling interest and, 
under the firm name of C. P.. Sparks & Company, tlie Imsincss was continued 
until 1864. Quite a village of cal)ius for the use of the workmen, and large 
company supply store, with shops and other Ijuildings, might have greeted 
the eye of the traveler away back in the thirties and forties, when this was 
looked upon as a new country. Here the iron ore was cast into "pigs," then 
re-cast into many kinds of castings, such as mill machinery, and especially 
into stoves, which were then just coming into general use as a household 
necessity. From these furnaces went forth thousands of tons of castings 
and pig iron, into the markets of the central West. Many a boat on the Wa- 
bash was freighted with the products of this furnace and foundry. Here 
many found employiuent at good wages. The money thus |)ai(l out freely 
circulated in the neighborhood and made times quite lively. There were 
i./oo acres of land connected with the furnaces, and all was owned in 1887 
bv George B. Sparks, who used the greater portion of it for agricultural pur- 
poses. Even at that date there was nothing to remind one of the once smok- 
ing, flaming, consuming fires of the Indiana Furnace and the little hamlet 
that stood near the dingy plant, save a few cabins, almost ruined by decay, 
and here and there a piece of machinery heavily coated with the rust of 
vears. The fires had long since been quenched, because of more improved 
methods, a better grade of iron ore, and more modern facilities, those which 
were ushered in with the true "Iron" that commenced at the close of the 
Civil war. 

There are still a few persons li\ing in the countv who remember the busy 
'spot known as the "Furnaces." and recall the long string of teams employed 
in drawing the ore from the mines and in conveying the manufactured metal, 
in "pigs" and in stove-plate and cooking utensils, to the waiting flat-boats on 
the banks of the near-by Wabash. The iron industrv was of short duration 
as compared to that of coal mining, which is now the great king of Vermillion 
county industries. 

From a recent history of Indiana, by Smith, we quote the following con- 
cerning the early iron industry: "Limonite or bog-iron ores are found in 
many Indiana counties, including Vermillion. Experience has proven that 
tiiese ores are too silicious to compete witli the rich beds of hermatite of Mis- 
souri, Tennessee and Georgia. .As a proof of this it is only necessary to state 


that of fourteen blast-furnaces which have l)een erected in Indiana in the 
past, not one is now in operation and most of them have long- since l)een in 
ruin and decay. The hist furnace went out of Inisiness in 1893." 


While it is not the province of this work to go into the details of the 
political history of A'ermillion county, which has, in common wifh other 
counties of Indiana, been one fraught with many interesting events, it must 
here suffice to simply refer incidentally to the political complexion of the 
county, as found in the presidential election returns. 

At an early day there was a good sprinkling of the Whig party element 
within Vermillion county and from this sprang the Republicans of a later era, 
which element is now very strong. In and near the \illage of Perrysville, 
in 1844, the \\'higs were strong as a party and to show their enthusiasm the 
following little instrument is introduced to the reader : 

"Perrysville, Ind., July 10, 1844. 
"Dr. R. M. Waterman, Lodi : 

"Res])ected Sir : Owing to the political excitement of the times, and to 
the expected \isit of Mr. R. W. Thompson to our place on next Friday, with 
all creation besides, we have been induced to ask you to favor the Whigs of 
this place with the loan of your cannon for Friday next. We wish to put a 
stop to the noise of this little loco-foco pocketpiece with a few rounds from 
a Whig gun. 

"Yours, etc., 

"Thomas H. Smith, Barnes, John Kirkpatrick, Da\-id Hulick, Jame; 

Blair, B. H. Boyd, M. Gookins, C. R. Jewett, R. Haven. \\'. H. Brown, Joseph 
Cheadle, W. B. Moffatt. J. S. Baxter. R. J. Gessie S. Barnes, A. Hill. C. F. 
McNeill, Jacob Sherfy. Austin Bishop, J. S. Stephens. B. R. Howe, John R. 
McNeill, A. Dennis, G. H. McNeill." 

.Vt^the commencement of the Civil war, W'rmillion county was aliout 
evenly divided as to Democrats and Republicans, but fortunately clid not have 
a large number of the "stay-at-home stripe" in either party, hence the few 
"copperheads" did not dare make as much disturbance as in many parts of 
the Hoosier state. Lincoln was elected and X'ermillion county- ga\'e him 
about as many \-otes as the opposition party had. Tlic presidential vote 



;ince the Civil war closet 
1868, has been as follow; 


-U. S. Grant (R) niaj-. 
Horatio Seymonr (D)-- 



-U. S. Grant (R). niaj-- 
Horace Greeley (Lib.)_ 



-R. P.. Hayes (R) i 


Samnel J. Tilden (D)--i 



-Gen. James A. Garfield 

(R) I 


W. S. Hancock (D)-. 


Janies B. Weaver (G)-- 


John W". Phelps (Xal.), 



-James G. Blaine (R)--- 


Grover Cleveland {D)-_ 



-Benjamin Harrison (R) 


Grover Clevelan.l ( 0)-- 


C. B. Fisk (I'm.) 


1 8y2- 

—Benjamin Harrison (R). 


Grover Cleveland ( H)-- 


Bidwell (pro.) 


Jas. B. Weaver (Peo.) — 


ith the election of Gen. U. S. Grant in 

1896— William AlcKinley (R)-i.78i 
U'illiani J. Bryan (D)— 2,131 

1900 — William McKinley (R)-2,293 
William J. Bryan (D)— 1,767 
Joshua Levering (Pro. )_ 107 

1904 — Theo. Roosevelt (R) ^.724 

AUon h. Parker (;D)_- 1,437 

Swallow (Pro.) 328 

Watson (Peoples) 29 

K308— William Howard Taft 

(R) 2,502 

William J. Bryan (D)--i,8i2 
Eugene \'. Debs (Soc.)- 407 
E. W. Chafin (Pro.)--. 217 

1912— William Howard Taft 

(R) 1.621 

Woodrow W'ilson (D)-i,78o 
Theo. Roosevelt ( Pro. ) 680 
E. \'. Debs (Soc.) S50 


The files of the Saliirday .'lr(jiis. of Clinton, published by L. O. Bishop, 
in June, 191 1, contained the interesting reminiscence of fifty years ago in; 
Clinton and Vermillion county, and, bearing on the political issues of those] 
days, it is here quoted as follcnvs : 

"Perhaps in the minds of the younger readers of these memories will I 
arise the question, \Miy, in view of the fact that Clinton was so far fromj 
the slax'e country-, and a part of the North, was there such a powerful pro-J 
slavery sentiment here? .\llow me to digress from the main- line of 
story to answer this (|ucstioi;. It must be borne in mind that at that time in.1 
which [ write of Clinton, it had l)ut one door open to the commerce of the! 
world, and that was south \ia the Wabash, Ohio, Mississippi rivers. NewJ 
Orleans was our great clearing house. It was no uncommon sight to see 
fleet of Hat-boats tied up along the river front in those days, unloadi: 
sugar, coffee, tobacco, rice, dry goods and tons of other manufactured goods 


and coniniodities and taking on curn and wheat and i;urk for the ^' mth. 
These flat boats were operated In- liand. And it required se\eral nmntlis to 
make a round trip. The stories of ri^•er ad\'enture and frohc and tragedy, 
if written, would make up some of the richest reading matter to l)e found in 
any Hterature. But it was commerciaHsm that reached out from tlie great 
slave market and sent its poison up through the natural arteries of the physi- 
cal country and thus stupefied and held captive for years the mind, the heart 
and conscience of the people until such prophets as Owen Lo\'ejo\- and John 
Bro\vn and William Lloyd (jarrison. like John the Baptist, came cr_\'ing 
through the wilderness, 'Awake! repent, and throw off the horrid spell.' 

"The only competitor this river ever had was the Wabash & lirie canal, 
which then extended up from Evansville, somewhat parallel with the Wa- 
bash ri\er, \-ia Terre Haute, Lafayette to Toledo. 0^■er this slow and tedious 
route a considerable commerce was conducted until the early sixties, when 
the absence of labor at home practically put it out of business. But there is 
in this connection a fundamental fact that cannot be too strongly emphasized 
and applied to the problems of today, and that is this : L-nrestricted control 
and use of the means of communication and transportation is a source of 
strength that is absolutely indis])ensab]e to the welfare of the people. So 
when this struggle came on the people of Clinton found themselves at one 
end of a river which ran at the other end to the \ery heart of the slave 
country, and was controlled by the slave power along e\'er\' inch of its tor- 
tuous route from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico. Thus our commerce was 
bottled up and the stopper was in the South. Clinton felt this cundition. It 
affected all classes. The slave power had many and effective agents at work 
all through this part o*f the country. Among them, preachers like Parson 
Brownlow. The only other outlet was to the north by wagon route to Chi- 
cago, and it was far more uncertain and expensive than was the easy fiat 
boat ride down stream to New Orleans. When one closely understands how- 
strong was this commercial bond between the South and the middle West 
through the medium of these great rivers then it will be seen that the West 
made a greater sacrifice than any other part of the country, for the Eastern 
states had their railroads to the seaboard and then all the world beyond as a 
field over which to roam for trade. And then, again, population was sparse. 

"The population of Clinton in i860 was not over two hundred and fiftv. 
As late as 1865 men used to sit in Johnny Rhyan"s little old shoe shop and 
take a complete census of e\'ery man, woman, cliild, horse, cow, jack, chicken, 
dog and cat. .\nd when they had taken the census, how thev used to swell 
up with pride, and exclaim, 'See how we have grown in ten wears." 


"That niv estimate was correct was shown Frida}- by J. H. Bogart, who 
in less tlian ten minutes" time recalled and named every family, store, ware- 
house and shop in Clinton in 1861. Not only is this feat remarkable for 
niemorx-, and shows how men ])reser\e their tine mental powers, including 
that of memory, but it shows the rapidity with which Clinton has grown. think of it. Here is a town of only two hundred and fifty in 1861, 
whereas todav (1911) the place has reached seven thousand, and instead of 
thirty-five blocks, today co\ers over a square mile. 

"By i860 public sentiment throughout the North began to assume con- 
crete form. Tt forced from unwilling lips defense of the truth. Tt crushed 
the wornout old Whig party and threw it into the political scrap-heap as a 
wreck. Tt split the slave-ruled ])arty and shoved into the lireach the \'irile, 
alert, wedge of the newly-l)orn Re|)ublican party and when the memoralile 
campaign of 1858 came on there was such a tremendous widespread activity 
as w-as never before witnessed on any continent. If it be true that 'coming 
events cast their shadows before." then certainly the campaigns of 1858-60 
clear!)- forecast the struggle that was to burst upon the country a year later. 
That summer and fall were given over to politics. Nothing else was dis- 

"The demonstration that greeted IJncoln on that occasion has, so far 
as I recall, ne\'er been equalled in the border line of the two states of Indiana 
and Illinois. 

"The Clinton delegation startetl with a strong cavalcade of mounted 
young women and men. Others went in gayly decorated wagons and others in 
carriages. Like an avalanche, it swept on across the township, gathering to 
itself large delegations all along the way. At the same time, from all the 
country surrounding Paris other delegations w-ere moving on toward a center 
and when Mr. Lincoln arose to s]ieak he was greeted bv a sea of eager faces 
that covered sex'eral acres, solidly standing. That procession is to this day 
the talk of the older men and women who remember it. 

"The campaign of i860 was a furious campaign. No secret liallot then. 
Every voter in Clinton townshiji bad to come to town to vote and election 
da\- participated in it to the last hour. The young, humane Democratic Re- 
publican party took the townshiii and sent the word to Lincoln that so far as 
this river town was concerned it would stand for a united countrv. But our 
town i)aid a terrific i)rice for its rejection of the tempter. .\nd the debt is 
not jiaid yel. Little apparently do the |>eo])lc of today seem to realize the 
awful cost it ha> .taken in times ])ast to uuiintain lihertv and guarantee prog- 


"So it was that under such thrills and stress my earliest days swiftly 
passed. And one day father came home in a great hurry from up town. His 
face was pale and his voice trembled. Someone asked him, "XMiy, Frank, 
what on earth is the matter?' "Fort Sumter has been fired on," he huskily 
replied, and on he went to spread the awful, ominous news. Just then 
another one came past and corroborated the news. It seems as though ill 
news of great importance spreads as if by magic. It was true in this case. 
All Clinton was on the streets in a few moments after tlie news of the Fort 
Sumter affair arrived. Excitement was at fever pitch. Church bells were 
rung, crowds were addressed by impromptu speakers, and the children caught 
the fever and could hardly be kept in school. 

"The next thing we knew, President Lincoln had issued an appeal for 
seventy-fi\^e thousand men, and then the real seriousness of the crisis came 
rolling in witli a rush to e\-ery home." 


The question of high and low tariff has always been one of interest to 
the political parties of this country, and in 1910 the arguments put forth in 
favor of the higher tariff, and the denial that the tariff made higher cost of 
living, vi'as put forth in the Hoosicr State, published at Newport, this county, 
in the following list of articles, based on what ten bushels of wheat would 
have purchased in 1896, under low rates of tariff ("tariff for revenue onlv") 
and under the Republican rule and higher tariff of the administration of the named political party. The list is as follows: 

In 1896 ten bushels of wheat bought fort}'-seven pounds of coffee; in 
1910 it bought one hundred and thirty-four pounds. 

In 1896 ten bushels of wheat bought one hundred and twenty-three 
pounds of rice: in 1910 it bought two hundred and thirteen pounds. 

In 1896 ten bushels of wheat bought nine barrels of salt; in 1910 it 
bought thirteen barrels. 

In 1896 ten bushels of wheat bought one hundred and thirt^--t\vo pounds 
of granulated sugar; in 1910 it bought two hundred and forty-nine pounds. 

In 1896 ten bushels of wheat bought twenty-five pounds of tea; in 1910 
it bought forty-nine pounds. 

In 1896 ten bushels of wheat bought one hundred and twentv-three 
yards of gingham: in 1910 it bought one hundred and sixty-nine yards. 

In 1896 ten bu.shels of wheat bought two pairs of men's kip shoes and 


left a balance of $1.47: in 1910 it bought four pairs of the same kind of 
shoes and left a balance of $1.81. 

In 1896 ten bushels of wheat Ijought sixty-nine bushels of liituminous 
coal ; in 1910 it bought one hundred and ten bushels of coal. 

In 1896 ten bushels of wheat bought fifty-seven gallons of coal oil ; in 
1910 it bought one hundred and one gallons. 

In 1896 ten bushels of wheat bought two hundred and ten pounds of 
nails: in 1910 it bought six hundred and forty-one pounds. 

In 1896 the government was operating under the 1o\a- tariff legislation 
of President Cleveland's administration; in 1910 the government was ad- 
ministered under the Payne-Aldrich tariff list of the Republican party ad- 
ministration, as established by the McKinley bill, and upon which issue 
President McKinley had been elected to office. 

In the month of December, 1912, the following were the general prices 
at retail for the commodities named : Flour. $3.00 per hundred ; corn, per 
bushel, 55 cents; wheat, 97 cents; potatoes, y$ cents; coal, per ton, $2.50; 
granulated sugar, per pound, 8 cents; coffee, from 2^ to 30 cents; butter, 35 
cents; eggs, per dozen, 35 cents; milk, 7 cents per quart; beans, $3.75 per 
bushel ; apples, $2.90 per barrel ; prints, per yard, 5 to 8 cents ; sheeting, 8 to 
12 cents per yard ; wool, per pound, 12 cents ; common nails, 2 1-2 cents by the 
keg; coal oil, 15 cents; gasoline, 20 cents; hogs were worth S7.50 and western 
cattle, $6.50 per hundred, live weight. 


The following is a list of the original village plats of \"ermillion county, 

Clinton was platted in section 15, township 14, range 9 west, January 8, 
1829, by Lewis P. Rodgers. 

Cayuga (first known as Eugene Junction) was platted September 20. 
1827, by S. S. Collett. 

Dana, in section 26, township 16, range 10 west, by Samuel and ]. B. 
Aikman, Samuel B. Kaufman, and 11. B. Hammond, the date being August 
18, 1874. 

Aha was platted May 18, 1871. in Helt township, by Jolm T. I'anton, 
Jciiin 1). Johnson, James IMcLaughlin. 

Fairview Park was platted by Charles W. W'hitcomb (trustee) on the 
southwest quarter of section 3. township 14, range g, .\ugust 16, 1902. 


West Clinton Junction, platted ]\Iay 31, igii, by H. M. Fergiisnn. Sam- 
uel C. Stultz and Henry C. Dies. 

Rang-eville was platted Septeml:)ei- 16, 191 1. on section 7. township 14, 
range Q west. l)y the Clinton Coal Company. 

Geneva was platted, at least recorded, December 28, 1900. by the Torrey 
Coal Companx". in section 5, township 14, range 9 west. 

Rhodes was platted on the southeast of section ^^, township 14. range 9. 
by the Brazil Block Coal Company, December 11, 1903. 

Xeedmore was platted as a sub-division, in section 34, tii\\n>hip 14, 
range 9 west, on September 29, 1904, by the Indiana Fuel Conipan}-. 

Centenarv was platted in section 13, township 14. range 10 west. October 
19, 1910, by Joseph VV. Amis (trustee). 

Chum's Ford was platted in sections 30 and 31, township 14, range 9 
west. ])v C G. Wright (trustee), December 8, 1910. 

Universal was platted in the northeast quarter of section 31, township 
14, range 9 west, March, 1911. 

PerrysN'ille was platted in section 34, township 19, range 9, and in sec- 
tion ^ii^,, of same township and range, May 25, 1832, by James Blair. 

Gessie was platted in section 28. township 19, range 10 west. ]March 20. 
1872. by R. J. Gessie. 

Rileysburg was platted in the southwest quarter of section 17, town- 
ship 19, range 10 west, June 4, 1904, by Sarah E. Peterson and Richard C. 

Newport was platted, or rather recorded as a \-illage, July 28. 1S28, and 
re-platted and corrected up for record, March 8, 1837, by S. S. Collett; lo- 
cated in section 26, township 17, range 9 west. 

St. Bernice, platted in the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of 
section 2S. township 15, range 10 west, -\ugust 18. 1905, Iw- .Vlfred \I. and 
Elizabeth J. Reed. 

Summit (jrove, platted on sections 22 and 2T,. township 15, range f) 
west. November 16, 1871, by Abraham H. Puy. 

Hillsdale was platted in section 2. township 15, range 9 west. No\ember 
II, 1872, by Everlin INIontgomery and Benjamin F. Maston. 

Highland was platted in section 2'/, township 16, range 9 west, and the 
northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section 34, same township and 
range, September 20, 1835, by Michael Gohmly. 

Jones was platted in Helt township, in section 34, township 15, range \r 
west, Iw I'liillin Jones, on Februarv 2^, 1862. 


Springfield was platted, or recorded as a village plat, October i, 1828. 
b)- janies Burns. 

Solon was platted April 2, 1830, on the east half of the northwest quar- 
ter of section 2^. township 17, range 9 west. 

'rrans)-lvania. platted in section 34, township 15, range 9 west, May 9, 
1837, by A. E. Sergent and G. Powers. 

Sheperdstown, platted b}' John Villarson, in the northeast quarter of 
section ;, township 19. range 10 west, and in section 6, same town and range, 
August 10, 1836. 


Clinton cemetery, platted in section 10, township 14. range 9, by five 
trustees, December 22, 189c . 

Toronto cemetery, bv five trustees, F. A'. Austin, \\'. F. Kerns, M. 
Pufifer, S. Jenks and Samuel Malone, November 26, 1893: location, section 
II, town.ship 15, range 10 west. 

Other cemeteries ]ilatted and recorded are the Vermillion cemetery and 
the Thoiuas cemetery. 

Eugene cemetery, platted by trustees, L. T. Naylor, G. H. l*"able, W. G. 
Hosford, Tune it, 1891, in section 31, township 18, range 9 west. 

Bales cemetery, platted by trustees, May i. 1894, in section 36, tnwn.ship 
t6, range 10 west. 

Hopewell Friends cemetery. 


In 1880, according' to the United States census reports, Vermillion 
countv had inhabitants as follows : 

Clinton township and towns. 3,000; Helt township and towns, 3,027; 
Vermillion township and towns, 2,213: Eugene township and towns, 1.340; 
Highland township and towns, 2,433; total in county, 12.015. 


The last federal census gives \'ermiIliou county a population of 18,865. 
di\i<lcd among the townshii)s and towns and cities as follows, that of 1900 
being also noted : 


1900. I9IO. 

L'linton township and city 5'193 9>34i 

C.'it}' alone ; ^,918 6,289 

b'airview Park 680 

Eugene township and Cayuga 2,038 2,112 

Cayuga town 832 911 

Heh township and Dana ' 3.799 3-543 

Highland township 2,133 ^'^45 

Vermillion township and Newport 2.089 1-974 

Newport alone 610 /T,2 

The total population of this county in 1870 was 10,840; in 1880 it had 
12,015; i" 1S99 it had 13,154; in 1900 it had 15,252 ; in 1910 it had 18,865. 

In 1910 there were seventy-four persons to each square mile, in this 
county. The rural population was fifty, to the square mile. 

The white population was 18,740 and the negro population 121. Native 
white ixjpulation. 14.466; foreign-born white population included these: 
From Austria, 342; Germany, 178; Hungary, 230; Italy, 811: Russia, 210; 
Scotland, 179; Ireland, 22. 

The county was divided as to sex : 10,002 males, 8,863 females. 

The total of illiteracy was 300; per cent, of illiteracy, five and two- 
tenths per cent, of population. 

Total between six and twenty \'ears of age 5.423 : school attenrlance. 
3.614: number of dwellings. 4,347; number of families. 4.544. 

The city of Clinton had. in 1900, 2,918 population: in 1910. it had 6.220: 
33 negroes; illiterate, 200: of school age, 1,692; attending school, 1,095; 
dwellings in city, 1,301: families in city. T.468. 


Besides the Cuunt)- Medical Societ}- mentioned elsewhere, this county 
had other imiiortant societies which, witli the death and removal of their 
founilers. went down. These included the Western Indiana Scientific .Asso- 
ciation, founded by the spirit and activity of that well-known man of New- 
l)ort, William Gibson, and later of Perrys\-ille, who, in the summer of 1875, 
issued a call to his friends in science with a \-iew of organizing a society. The 
first meeting met in August that year and such men attended and took part 
as Prof. B. Rhoades, William Gibson, M. L. Hall. William L. Little. Jesse 
Houchiu. P. Z. .\nderson and Samuel Groenendxke. At their next meeting 


they organized what they were pleased to style "The Western Indiana His- 
torical and Scientific Association." They adopted a constitution and by- 
laws for the purpose of "promoting discovery in geology, archaeology and 
other kindred sciences; for our mutual improvement therein, and for the se- 
curing of a cabinet of natural history and a collection of minerals and fossils 
as will illustrate the resources and wealth of Vermilion county." The con- 
stitution was signed by John Collett, William L. Little, William Gibson, H. H. 
Conley, M. L. Hall, S. B. Davis,' ^I. G. Rhoades, Jesse Houchin, W. C. 
Eichelberger. Samuel Groenendyke. B. E. Rhoades and P. Z. Anderson. Mr. 
Collett was e'ected president; M. G. Rhoades, vice-president; William L. Lit- 
tle, treasurer: H. H. Conley. corresponding secretary; M. L. Hall, recording 
secretarv. and William Gibson, librarian and curator. 

With the removal of j\Tr. Gibson the moving, active s]iirit, after he bad 
succeeded in seciu-ing manv items for the collection and had them carefully 
stored awav in a neat, small building, the association ceased to exist, as is to 
be regretted bv all thinking people of the county. 


A county temperance organization was formed as a result of the "blue- 
ribbiin" movement, Fe1>ruary 16. i8(S2, at Newport. The meeting was called 
to order by Capt. R. B. Sears, of Newport, a member of the state organiza- 
tion. Dr. E. T. Spotswood, of Perrysville, was temporary chairman, and E. 
H. Hayes, of Clinton, secretary. Vice-presidents Avere chosen from each of 
the five townships in Vermillion county. Mrs. Emma Mollov. a noted tem- 
perance lecturer, was invited to make a canvass of the countv. The consti- 
tution of the Grand Council was adopted. Resolutions called for none but 
out-and-out temperance men for the officers of the societv. Tbev must a'so 
favor adopting resolutions to ^-ote for a prohibitory liquor law in Indiana. It 
is tboueht. bv some, that owins: to its not being a religious or secret order, 
that it went down before much good was accomplished. 


The facilities for receiving and sending mail matter in this countv have 
greatly changed for the better with the passing of the decades since one man's 
hat was the postofifice and mail was received "when convenient"' from Dan- 
ville and Terre Haute, at two or three places within the county. The estab- 
lishment of the free rural delivery of mails in the late eighties and nineties 


brought many changes in the location of postoffices throughout the entire 
country, including this county. In 1888 the offices in \'ermillion county were 
listed as follows: 

Clinton ; St. Bernice, at Jonestown, in the northwestern portion of Clin- 
ton township; Summit Grove, on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois railroad, in 
Helt township; Toronto, at or near Bono, Helt township, at the crossing of 
the two railroads of the county; Dana, in the northwestern part of Helt 
township, on the railroad running east and west through the county ; New- 
port, the county seat; Quaker Hill, sometimes called "Quaker Point," eight 
miles west of Newport and in Vermillion township; Cayuga, in Eugene 
township, at the railroad crossings; Eugene: Perrysville; Gessie, on the 
railroad in the western portion of Highland township; Rileysburg. on the 
same road two miles to the northwest of Clessie : \\'alnut Grove, Bruwnton, 
Highland, Alta, Ojjeedee were all hamlets and cross-roads, but had no post- 

The following is a true list of tlie postoffices in the county in 1912: 
Cayuga, Charles Hosford, postmaster': Clinton, J. O. Stark, postmaster; 
Dana, Roy Turner, postmaster: Eugene: Gessie; Hillsdale, Margaret Mc- 
Carty, postmistress; Newport, M. B. Carter, postmaster: Perrys\il]e, Inskie : 
Rileysburg; St. Bernice, Ed. McCann, postmaster: New St. Bernice (a rural 
station) ; Universal, John Marietta, postmaster. 

The postal savings department was introduced in Vermillion count\' in 
1911, and in January, 1913, the parcel post system was installed in the county. 
All of these facilities give the persons residing distant from the towns and vil- 
lages almost an equal advantage enjoyed by the town dwellers of years ago. 
The farmer has his daily newspaper, with latest market reports and the impor- 
tant news of the entire world, brought to his door each forenoon. And if in 
need of some small article of merchandise, instead of going to town he can 
simply phone to his dealer and the mail carrier brings the article on his first 
trip out, the charges being merely nominal. Verily, the farmer is becoming 
more independent each year, and has of late just awakened to the fact that 
he is a potent political factor that must be reckoned with. 


May 4, 1904, at noon, the powder mill at Dorner, two miles 'southeast 
of Newport, was blown up, four men being killed and man}- more injured. 
The scene of the disaster was in a little hollow leading off from the main 
hollow which runs east and west. There were at tlie time four hundred kegs 


of powder, of t\veiity-ti\e pounds weight eacli, amounting to ten thousand 
pounds of damp blasting powder. Henry Grilifin and DeSoto Biggs, two of 
the unlucky workmen, were blown literally to atoms. The combined weight 
of the two men was about three hundred pounds and only sixty pounds of 
scattered fragments of human remains could ever be gathered together. The 
other two killed were George and Berkley Mayhew, brothers. The woods 
caught fire from the terrible explosion and it took much hard fighting upon 
the part of the men present to extinguish the flames before they reached the 
other side of the hill, where there was stored two hundred and fifty thousand 
pounds of powder in the magazines of the Dupont powder works. Only two 
of the fourteen buildings were destroyed. They were never rebuilt. An 
almost endless litigation ensued for damages ujwn the part of the deceased 
men's friends, some of whom compromised and received small amounts from 
the company. The explosion was heard at Terre Haute and Clinton. John 
Potts, who was on his fatlier's farm a mile distant, was knocked down by 
the explosion. Twenty window lights were broken from the county poor 
asykim ; pieces of shafting of six hundred pounds weight were hurled a half 
mile distant and ])lanted in the earth. A spring never before observed by 
man was started from out the hill at the glaze ; twenty-five copperhead snakes 
that had not yet come forth from their winter quarters were stunned and 
afterward killed by the men w]in were searcliing for the liodies of the unfor- 
tunate workmen. 


Clintun and \icinity has been the scene of terrible dynamiter's work, 
including the blowing up of the Catholic church and, a few months later, the 
partial destruction of the piers of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois railroad 
bridge, at Clinton. The latter explosion was on April 19, 1910, when two 
explosions occurred. The shock was felt at Dana, Hillsdale and Terre 
Haute. The guilty ones were never captured, although there were large re- 
wards ofifered and expert detectives put into the case. The city offered one 
thousand dollars and the railroad company three thousand dollars. Blood- 
hounds were put into service, but all to no purpose. 

The partial destruction of the beautiful and massive Roman Catholic 
church at Clinton, supposed to ha^e been the work of someone not satisfied 
with the rec|uirements and exactments upon the part of the priest in charge 
of the Clinton at the time, occurred in November, iqog. of which 
the Clinton Saturday Argus had thi.'? to say. editoriallv : 


"Tlie new Sacred Heart Runian Catholic church was partially wrecked 
at 1 1 :45 Tuesda}- night Ijy the explosion of three sticks of dynamite. The 
explosions were so terrific that almost the entire windows were blown out of 
many of the houses in that part of the city. A police force was at once sent 
for by 'calls' and the night officers responded, but no trace could be found 
that afforded any clue to the deed. 

"The damage done w ill amount to over one thousand dollars, on which 
there is no insurance. Wednesday the city council met and voted to offer a 
thousand dollars reward for the arrest and conviction of the miscreants. 
Seventy-nine sticks of d)namile were found at the church on Wednesday 
morning, which had they gone off would have destro)'ed at least the southern 
half of the city. A call has been made for a Pinkerton detecti\-e and no pains 
or expense will be spared to bring the guilty parties to justice." 

The same local paper said on December 3, 1909: 

"The deadly effects of the recent attempt to blow up the Catholic church 
in this city are far more wide-reaching than the mere damage to the building, 
serious as it was. Owners of property in that vicinity now live in constant 
dread and apprehension of still further disaster. Some families have rented 
rooms down town where they can have the benefit of police protection, day 
and night : others refuse to slee]) at home at night time. Others are oft'ering- 
their property for sale. The Catholic authorities have employed guards for 
constant night protection. Father Maher has, it is reported, remo^■ed from 
the citv and his former duties have been taken by another priest." 

Up to this writing, December, 19 1-, there has been no due to the ]iersnns 
who performed this dastardly deed. 


During the latter part of the night of October 12, 1883, says the Hoosicr 
State, published at Newport, a most brutal outrage was committed by a band 
of robbers upon I^lias Lamb and their family at their residence, near New- 
port. In the house were Mr. Lamb and wife and a married daughter, from 
W'ayne count}-, \isiting them. Between three and four o'clock the dug made 
considerable noise. ^Irs. Lamb went to the window to see what was the 
matter and hissed the dog, wdiich would only plunge out into the darkness 
and then retreat. Not discovering anything, she returned to lied, Init the dog 
l<e]it up a howling and acted as if someone was encroaching on the premises. 
In a few minutes Mr. T-am1i went out to see if he could discover anvthing- 


wrong. Retuinmg to his room, he had scarcely lain down when the door to 
an adjoining room against which stood a large bureau was burst open and the 
bureau fell to the Hoor, with a terrible crash, breaking everything that was Before the two could get out of bed they were seized by two bur- 
glars and a demand made for their monej-. Mr. Lamb gave them all he had. 
The demand being repeated to his wife, she said she had a dollar and seventy- 
five cents upstairs. The villians made her get it without a light, at the risk 
of her life. They then declared that there was more money in the house and 
that they would kill them if they did not give it up. Mr. Lamb answered 
that they might kill them, "but that they could not get any more money, for 
there was no more in the house. Then they assaulted him and threatened to 
kill them both if the\- did not pay o\-er more money. They first pummeled 
him awhile and then fired two shots, one of tliem grazing ^Irs. Lamia's head, 
splitting open her ear. Mr. Lamb, although badly bruised and one eye closed, 
managed to get out of doors, where lie pulled the bell rnpc, which frightened 
the burglars away. 

The daughter referred to, \\ho was sleeping in anotlier room, crawled 
under the feather bed and thus escaped discovery. Their son John, who was 
sleeping in a house some hundred yards distant, upon hearing the bell ran 
over to his parents' house and, finding they were sufifering for medical treat- 
ment, jiroposed to go immediately for a physician, but thev, fearing the 
rascals might return and do further mischief, begged him to remain with 
them till daylight. 

Durin."- the morni'i<r the tracks of the robbers were traced both wavs. 
between their house .ind to\\n. but no further clue was ever obtained. 


The following will serve the pur])ose of showing how the deaths of 
Lincoln, Carfield and McKinley were taken by the citizens of tliis countv : 


In comuKMi willi the entire nation, the news of the death at the hand of 
an assassin (if rrcsidcnt .\l)raham Lincoln, just at the close of the civil con- 
flict in which he was the true i)atriot and hero, was received witli profoimd 
grief and sorrow by tin's people, who had faitlifully supported the great man 
in liis c\iM-y cffnrt in sa\c the l"ninn. The pul)lic meetings were sad ones 
tlu-ciiigh(inl the cmmty. Men niel on the streets, in the shops, on the farms 


and at cross-road postoffices, only to see depicted in one another's faces the 
sorrow hidden within their hearts. Stunned and silent at first, they soon 
gave utterance to the bitterness of their souls. A saved Union, but a lamented 
and assassinated President. Flags were at half-mast; emblems of mourning- 
were seen on every hand, and many a prayer went up to the Ruler of Nations 
that peace might come out of the confusion that existed on every hand. It 
was the first great natinnal sorrow this people had experienced. They had 
freely given up their brave sons, on manv a well fought field of liattle, in de- 
fense of the flag, liut ne\er liad they mourned a President in such critical 
davs as those of Ajiril, 1865. 


Again, sixteen years later, in July, iS8i, the cowardly hand of an "un- 
balanced man," with political hatred in his heart, shot down President James 
Abram Garfield, at the Potomac depot in Washington, D. C, He suffered on, 
and was the object of a nation's sincere prayers, until death claimed him, 
September 20th, that year. 

The Housicr Siatc. published then, as now, at Newport, \'ermillion 
county, had the following editorial on the death of Garfield: "Today the 
whole nation mourns o\'er the death of our President, which occurred at ten 
thirt}-fi\-e last JMonday night. Eleven weeks ago Guiteau shot him down at 
the Potomac depot in Washington, wliile on his way to visit his wife who was 
ill in an Eastern city. .Mthnugh a stout, hearty man. usuaKv weighing two 
hundred ])0unds, he had dwindled down to less than due hiuidred and fifteen 
pounds. The ]:>rayers of the whole nation went up for In'ni. l)ut a\-ailed noth- 
ing. Death was sealed upon his manly brow when he was first shot, and no 
mortal could stay its onward march. The iieo^jle feel sad and full\- ajipre- 
ciate the fearful calamit}' which has befallen om- country. 

"Yesterday a large number of business bouses and residences were hea\-- 
ib- draped in mourning. Tt seemed like a pall of despair had spread over our 
quiet little village and the deep gloom of sadness could be plainly depicted 
on the countenances of everyone. He is gone. Let the old warrior rest ! Let 
our peo])le hope for the best. 

"Memorinl Exercises — Tu JTonor of the dead President, a public meeting 
was called ;it the court house in Newport by Marshal E. ^\. P.ishop, on Sun- 
da\' cxening, to |>lan for a memorial meeting there nn Monda\-. At two p. m. 
Monda\- tlic court house w as fub ; lousiness men all closed their jilaces up and 


attended in reverence and sorrow. Prayer was oti'ered by Rev. J. H. Hol- 
lingsworth. W illiam L. Lntle made an appropriate address, highly comph- 
menting the dead chieftain. C. W. W ard deh\ered a lengthy address, full of 
many beautiful sentinients. L'apt. U. 15. Sears followed with another ad- 
dress, as did also Henry J lollingsworth." 


t'ui' the tiiird time the citizens of \ erniiUion county were called upon to 
mourn the death uf an assassinated Tresident. Perhaps no better index to 
the sentiment concerning this dastardly assassination can be had than to re- 
print a portion of an editorial that appeared in the Democratic organ at Clin- 
ton, the Saturday Argus, published by L. O. Bishop, which reads as follows : 

"This morning (September 20, 1901,) the people of this nation awoke 
to a great sorro\V and shame. Sorrow over the death of William jNlcKinley, 
who had been twice elected to occupy the chair of the highest office in the 
land, a kind, sincere and true gentleman and a high public official. Shame at 
the consciousness that, in spite of all boasted libert}- and justice and prosper- 
it\- that were said to abound, out of all should come one whose life had been 
so embittered at the wrongs he saw that he dared to lift his hand against the 
head of the republic. 

"In this hour of national ainiction. when the future rises full of potent 
hopes, and the hearts of all tme Americans are hea\'y with snrro\v and a])pre- 
hension, there should be no iiartisanship, no strife, nothing- but the truest 
comradeship, for the blow that has fallen from tlie hand n\' the barbarian 
and as.sassin is a blow, not at William McKinley the man. but a blow by sav- 
agery at citizenship; by chaos, at law and order. At this moment, when the 
destinies of the nation may be changing, there can be but one sentiment in 
all our hearts — profound sympathy for the one weak woman on whose frail 
shoulders has fallen this cnishiii"" blow." 

In Clinton, memorial ser\ ices were held at the Methodist Episcopal 
church, at which numerous ])romiucnt citizens addressed a large audience, 
upon w hose e\'ery face were deiiicted the lines of grief and true sorrow, re- 
gardless of ]iart\- lines. All were AfcKinley"s friends, in a true personal, 
for he was of lli;U lv|ie of manhood ihat ever lias the oood will of the rom- 
mnn jicoplc. in whose interests he alwavs belie\cd he \-as \\(irkin'>- while he 
held jniblic office, either stale or national. The occasion of this memorial 
service will never be forgotten by those present, among wh-im were those 


who had been called upon to mourn the death of two Presidents assassinated 
before, Lincoln and Garfield, but to some this seemed the saddest of all, for it 
was in a time of supreme peace and prosperity in the countr}-. 


in a series of interesting articles from the pen of Editor L. O. Bishojj, 
in the Saturday Aryiis. of Clinton, in lyii, the following should be preser\ed 
as a part of the history of X'ermillion county, showing as it does much of 
interest concerning the days back a half centur)- ago. While man}- of our 
readers will not cpiite agree with the political philosophy of the writer, all 
will be ])lease(l at the facts herein narrated: 

"In one of James Whitcomb Riley"s poems, Indiana's gifted poet reflects 
more than superficial sentiment when he exclaims : 'Take me tack to Griggsby 
Station, where we used to be so happy and so poor.' That was the condi- 
tion of things that prevailed in Clinton half a century ago. 

"The Ci\'il war contributed to this po\'erty in that it drew out of the 
country for destruction not only vast supplies in way of foodstufifs, wool for 
clothing, live stock, horses and mules, but it also drew into this fierce mael- 
strcjm of destruction all the al)le-l)odied producers of wealth from town and 
cnuntr\-. It put a sto]) to all exchange, liecause prices of exerything went 
skyward and wages were reduced to a minimum, because no plans were for- 
mulated for any pubhc or private improvement, that would circulate money or 
employ labor. 

".So we w'cre all i)Oor in Clinton in i8f 11-^13. \\'e were ])i)or in material 
things because there are things toda}' in common use that bad not been in- 
dented. For instance, there was the item of artificial light. No longer than 
fifty years back we had not e\'en coal oil lamps. Artificial lights for stores, 
clnnxhes and homes were made in two w ays. Candles were used in chande- 
liers and candlesticks. .A.nd considerable artistic taste was displayed in mak- 
ing the chandeliers and candlesticks. And then our mothers took great i)ride 
in seeing how smooth a crmdle the\- could make b\- pouring nielted talloAv 
down the mold frame through which the wick had been strung. Others used 
an open lamp, filled with .oil of any inflammable kind and the wick hung over 
the edge of the lamp, or it might run up a spout and he lighted. James 
Payne informs me that coal oil did not come into use here until about 1864. 
when 'Esquire Harrison invested in a coal oil lamp and took it to his country 
home, a few miles west of the citv. Tt was a venomous looking creature. 


With no chiiiuiey, ayd double-barreled at that! it created more curiosity 
among the iieignDors tlian a tlynig machine does toda). People would drive 
miles and miles and make it a point to have business at the Squires to see 
that 'new fangied contraption' with which the family was going to cut some 
spiurge at night. But there was not one in the house who would go up close 
to the lamp to light it. And it w as used as an ornament until tinally someone 
did screw up courage to hre the tip ends of the two little wicks that seemed 
to run like a fuse to a mine below. 

"The experiiiieilt worked ail right. At least it did nut blow up and that 
oil lamp soon de\eloped into a better affair and candles and grease lights, 
with their snuffers, smoke, grime and dirt, were soon relegated to oblivion. In 
the matter of producing a perfect artificial light the whole world hung on for 
centuries to the crudest of affairs and seemed never to think it possible to 
invent anything better. As a matter of fact, the world has made more prog- 
ress in way of comfort, convenience and cleanliness and in labor-saving de- 
vices in the past fifty years than it did in all the centuries that had gone be- 

"Even as late as 1868 the wheat crop was cut by hand. And not until 
the White Brothers. Orville, Ren, Florence and James, always progressive 
farmers, \-enture(l to invest in a \Valter A. Wood binder, and the Knowles 
Brothers, Charles B. and James E., tried the McCormick, that the farmers 
could lie induced to get away. from the back-breaking, sla\ish task of harvest- 
ing by hand. These machines were crude. hea\-y aft'airs, costing from three 
luindreil and thirly-fi\'e doHars to lliree hundred and seA-enty-fi\'e dollars, re- 
spectively, and reiiuired from three to four horses to draw them when in the; 
field, and were easily disarrange<l. Then Scott Haginbaugh, an agricultural 
implement dealer, took the agency and began to exploit their manv virtues. 
The machine used was to bind the \\heat by means of wire liands, which 
were cut b\- a hatchet in threshing. One day a farmer asked Scott what be- 
came of this wire. Scott, being equal to all emergencies, verv coolly andl 
promptly replied that Tt evaporated.' The explanation seemed to be satis- 
factory, as a number of machines were sold. But the la\v of evolution was * 
constantly at work, eliminating the old and useless and substituting the new 
and better ways of doing things. 

"Tlie richest man in Clinton at the beginning of the Civil war was prob- 
ably worth ten thousand dollars, niostlv in merchandise, a residence nnd 
'=omc farm land. One f.-niii'v. that of Ceor;>c :\rcCnllou<Tli. had a piano -nd^ 


the)- had a spick span parlor m the old 'White House' that now stands on 
bouth Aiaui street. 

"John Jr'ayton was a successful merchant and later on furnished his 
family with a piano; John \\ hitcomb, another merchant, purchased a piano. 
But outside of these three families, the evidences of wealth and luxury in 
Clinton were far between. 

■■\\e were all poor m Clinton in the early sixties, and that poverty was 
no more like the poverty that infests our cities today than German silver is 
like the genuine article. The poverty of 1864 was not poverty that came to 
men by reason of unjust laws or of vicious systems, it was the po\ert}- of a 
natural condition of things ; wealth was not. It was a poverty that made all 
men feel socially equal, and they were on good terms with each other. There 
was no embarrassment on the part of either if a poor washwoman went to 
divine ser\ice attired in calico and sat down beside a woman in all wool or 
silk ; all was well. I have seen the mechanic sit in his shirt sleeves by the side 
of the merchant in alpaca coat, and both sing the same hymns of praise and 
gratitude from the same book, and both kneel in the same pew and pray to the 
same Hea\enly Father for his guidance and mercy, and all classes would join 
in fraternal spirit at the same hospitable table. The poverty of 1861-65 did 
not inibrute men by closing against them and their children all the natural 
opportunities for advancement. It did not divide society into two great hos- 
tile camps that we see about us today, the fortunate on one side and the out- 
cast on the other. The poor man was not shox'ed off the earth 1d\- simie cokl. 
unfeeling corporation, aided b\' political prostitutes and professional para- 
sites. The one great universal, underlying cause of the happiness that pre- 
vailed in 1861 was the fact that every man was practically free to use the land 
aufl renp all proceeds of his labor. It was this that gave strength to the 
Xortli. It was the denial of this principle that made the South weak, and 
which finally led to its defeat and wiping out of its long cherished svsteni. 



LliiUon, named in honor of an earl)- go\ernor of New York, DeVVitt 
Clinton, was laid out, probably, b}' William Hams, a resident of Martin 
county, Indiana, m 1824. Aiartin was a government surveyor. But the rec- 
ord of town and village plats at Newport shows that Clinton was platted 
and recorded by Lewis P. Rodgers, on January 8, 1829 — probably a corrected 
and legal platting recorded of the original town. It is .-situated {^the original 
plat) in section 15, township 15, range 9 west. 

.Vt first the growth of the town was very slow, indeed at the opening of 
the Civil war it only contained about two hundred and fifty inhabitants, but 
in 1868, when a railroad was an assured fact, it took on new life and vigor. 
But before railroad days it was the center of an agricultural district around 
it for a radius of fifty miles or more, .\cross the \\'aliash the people traded 
mostly at Terre Haute, fifteen miles distant from Clinton and always an 
absorbing factor in the country trade. Clinton stands on a level plateau of 
land extending from the western bank of the Wabash back nearly a mik to 
the hills, in which the great coal deposits are. which have for years been suc- 
cessfully worked. The population of Clinton, according to the 1910 United 
States census, was 6,289, '^"f according to the iqij cit}- director}-, carefulh' 
compiled, the city now has a population of 8.379. Aside from the mining- 
element, the population is largely .\merican. The commercial interests may 
he listed as between the extensi^'e coal n-iining industry and the agricultural 
trade, with a considerable amount of money also put into circulation by rea- 
son of the vast brick and tile indu.stries of the community, the paving brick 
alone being a large industry. But be\-ond question, the citv thrives largelv on 
its mining interests which are increasing yearly. 

The transportation facilities are provided largely through the Chicago iS: 
Eastern Illinois Railroad and the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern Trac- 
tion Company. 



The first mercantile establishment in Clinton was opened b\- John and 
Benjamin R. Whitcomb, who kept a small general store. Other early business 
men were John Payton, John R. Whitcomb, H. B. Cole, John Ferrel and 
John Marks. Later business men were James McCulloch, Otis M. Conkey, 
Jones & Chestnut, from Paris, Illinois. Leander ^lunsel, from the same 
place. Alanson Baldwin, of Raldw ins\'ille, Illinois, who were extensi\'e ])ork 
packers at Clintnn. This cit\- was fnr manv vcars a noted pork market and 
shipping- ])oint for jincked pork. 

Lesser business was carried on liy J. AA'. and Fielding Shepard. and 
A'olney Hutchison, mechanics, \\ho afterward mo\e<l into the countr\- and 
becanie successful farmers: S. E. Patton, a cooper: H. F. Redding, carriage- 
maker and lilacksmith. and others. 

A [any of the Iniildings occupied b\- these pioneers were .still standing in 
the nineties, on the bank of the ri\-er. near the railroad bridge, where the old 
boat landing was, as monumental relics of that long-ago steamboat period. 
The scenes of the past e\-er and anon rise in the vision and memory of the 
older citizens of Clinton, who seem again to hear the shrill whistle of the 
steamer and the wharf-talk of river boatmen and roustabouts, as the>- loaded 
and unloaded the great cargoes of merchandise to and from the boats boimd 
nortli and south from this landing place. 

The population had not reached o^■er one thousand eight hundred in 
1890, but modern development, the growing industries, and general trend of 
the times of peace and real prosperity, will not long permit a city located as 
is Clinton to stand still, hence its present size and business enterprise. 


.\t the close of the Ci\il war there w as a complete change in commercial 
and industrial life. It can only be compared in physical nature to an up- 
heaval that obliterates old paths, landmarks and structures. Prior to the 
Civil war Clinton and the surrounding country had many industries. It was 
the era of the small industry under individuaL control. Such towns as Per- 
rysville. Eugene. Mecca. Clinton and many others were centers of this kind 
of industry. In Clinton we had a wagon factory conducted by B. F. Morey, 
father of \A'. L. Morey. In that shop wagons were made complete, from 
end-gate to the tongue. And they were good wagons, too. Thev were like 
Holmes' wonderful "One-Hoss Shav," "that ran a hundred vears to a dav.'" 


They were like the cliaracters of the men who built them — strong, close 
built and enduring. In connection with this wagon factory was the black- 
smith shop, where the iron work was made, the paint shop where they were 

Today these wagon factories have all been brushed away by the big fac- 
tories, owned and controlled by corporations backed by millions of dollars. 
We had a tan vard at the foot of Crompton hill, where an old man, named 
John Crompton, tanned hides and prepared them for the boot and shoe fac- 
tory, conducted bv John E. Ryan, on South Main street. Between these 
two, we used to get boots and shoes made, pretty high priced 'tis true, but 
built like the garments of the children of Israel for wear. 

There was Harry Redding's famous copper shop, where barrels and 
casks were made. There were the great pork-packing industries. There was 
Robert Chambers' cabinet shop, where furniture was made. There was 
Greenwat's blacksmith shop, where horseshoes were made, and Wiley's 
place, where cradles, bedsteads and coffins were made to order. There was 
the Mallory mill, where cane was ground and the juice was converted into 
sorghum molasses, which our mothers used in making ginger cake about 
three inches thick, as l)ig as the o\'en would take in, and which was compar- 
able only to the food of the gods. .\nd there were sa;w-mills and shingle- 
mills and grist-mills all o\er this country. At Mecca, a woolen-mill used 
up the raw wool that was raised on the backs of sheep that roamed the hills 
of Parke and Vermillion counties. It was a Mecca indeed, for to it the 
mothers for miles around made their annual pilgrimages every fall, to lay 
in a supply of good woolen clothes for use in the family during the follow- 
ing winter. The motive power of this woolen-mill was water that had been 
accumulated by placing a dam across the Big Raccoon. Perrysville was a 
thriving, humming town and easily the best town in this county, doing an 
immense business in manufacturing and merchandising. 

West of Clinton was the Indiana Iron Furnace, which employed a host 
of men, scattered a large pay-roll throughout the township, and >vhich used 
up the iron ore found everywhere in the beds of the creeks. In fact, the 
people were so self-deijendent that they could practicallv get along for long 
periods without any outside aid. .\nd yet all these industries were paralyzed 
and forever silenced by the after-results of the war. The fires died out of 
the smelting furnace, the lioats crime no more for their usual cargoes. 

At this time I\lain street was only a second-rate affair. .\11 the business 
was (lone ;dong First street. The river bank was built up almost solidly in 
wood yards, coal yards, grain elevators, great warehouses, pork-packing 


iiouses, Stores, etc. It was ri\-er commerce. I ha\ e seldom exer gone over 
into Illinois that I do not meet some old farmer who, half a century ago, 
brought his grain and pork to Clinton to be shipped off south in payment 
for the product of sla\'e labor. There was no outlet for all this surplus 
product. There was no place to ship it and no way of getting it on to the 
markets of the world. And the industries, in and about Clinton, wilted at 
the blast of war as a sensitive plant will wilt in the hand. The men left the 
furnace to go to the front. .Mthougb thev were all Democrats. the\- were 
all loyal to their country. The fires went out, never to light the midnight 
skies again. And toda}- the place is almost a tradition. The ilouring mill 
of William Hedges closed down, to never again turn a wheel and was later 
taken down, brought to town and rebuilt and burned in March. 1891. The 
pork-packing houses all closed dovn, never to re-open. The coal and wood 
yards and river traffic all fell into decay. The grain traffic alone held on 
until in the seventies, when the railroad came to its relief. Boys used to 
climb up into the warehouses and o\'er the huge timbers to chase the bats 
and owls out from their hiding places. ( The above picture of Clinton and 
neighborhood was luiblished in the Arciiis by L. O. Bishop and is doubtless 
true to life fortx- and fifty vears ago.) 


Among the leading industries of the cit_v of Clinton may be here cited 
the Clinton Pax'ing Brick Company, which was established in 1S93, ^^'th a 
capital of fifty thousand dollars: M. L. Alorey, president: H. C. Dies, treas- 
urer; J. W". Robb, secretary and manager: B. H. ^forgan and M. C. Wright, 
directors. The first output of this extensive plant was in August, 1893, the 
capacity being forty thousand brick per day. The specialty is paving brick 
of a very superior quality. The company own sixty-five acres of land, and 
tlnis produce their own raw material. They employ about sixty-five work- 
men, and run the }-ear round. The output is nearly all sold in the great 
Middle West. The clay tliis company owns will furnish all that is needed 
for many years to come. It is one of the most extensi\-e plants in this sec- 
tion of Indiana, and is the largest of any, save that at Veedersburg alone, 
which is the greatest in Indiana. 

This has come to be almost a clay and cement age, and as timber be- 
comes scarcer, the construction of almost all kinds of structures will be ac- 
complished by the use of brick and cement materials. For street paA'ing 
there is nothing now known so excellent as the proper grades of paving 
brick, and in this Clinton excels. For this reason the city is indeed fortunate 


in having this modern plant situated within lier limits, furnishing employ- 
ment for so large a number of men. 

Other .industries inchule the nxerall and skirt faetury, in the south part 
of the citv, which emjilovs ahout .-•e\enty-tive persons, mostly women; the 
Clinton Canning Factory, which institution puts up large quantities of vege- 
tables : the ice comjianv, making artificial ice of a splendid quality; the ma- 
chine sho,- nf Tdays & Balmer and that of R. P. Shattuk ; the hard.-wood 
saw niilN. located in the central eastern portion of the city, near the Wa- 
bash river front, the property of Butcher & Cooper. 

Of the greater indu.strv, that of coal mining operations, the chapter on 
Mining will treat. 

The milling interests are well represented by the Clinton Milling Com- 
panv, whose large plant is situated in the heart of the city, near the river 
front, where a fine grade of flour, meal, graham and feed is produced. 


Clinton has the most important postal business of an\- postoffice within 
the count}-. It is the only second-class office and is now looking forward 
with great anticipation to the time when it will become a free delivery office, 
the population of the city long since having passed the limit for such a change. 
There are four rural routes extending out from this office to the outlying 
country, and the parcel post is now installed and in active operation. Again, 
it is promised that the coming session of Congress will appro])riate for a 
postoffice building not less than sixty-five thousand dollars. 

There being a very large foreign element in and near the city, this has 
long been a good paying money order center, esiiecially in foreign orders. 
The postal savings rlepartment of the office was established in October. 191 1, 
and on December 13, 191J, the books showed an amount of $14,604 on 
deposit. The other business of the office, aside from money orders, amounted 
to $11,795, in the last fiscal year. 

The postmasters of Clinton have included the followdng : The first was 
Dave Patton; then, commencing with James McCollough, who served from 
1856 to 1860, the postmasters have been John A. Campbell, 1860-65; John 
Payton, 1865-69; John G. Campbell. 1869-72; Thomas H. Allen, 1873-77; 
John F. Leighton. 1877-85; George W. Edwards, 1885-89; Marietta Blythe, 
1889-93; L. O. Bishop, 1893-97; W. H. Bonner. 1897-01 ; J. N. Foist. 1901- 
10; John O. Stark, 1910-14. 



Clinton has tlie following' churches and lodges : 

Roman Catholic. Sacred Heart. Xo. 34.S Xebeker street. 

Christian, northeast corner Blacknian and South Se\-enth streets. 

Finlanders Lutheran, Xo. 326 Xorth Eighth street. 

Methodist Episcopal, Blackman and South Fourth. 

African Methodist Episcoi)aI, Fifth and South INIain streets. 

Presbyterian, northwest corner South Third and Mulberry streets. 

First Italian Presbyterian, X'orth Eighth and Oak streets. 

United Brethren, No. 910 South Main street. 

Fraternal Order of Eagles. 

Columbian Federation Societies. 

Grand Army of the Republic, P. R. Owen Post Xo. 329. 

Knights of Pythias, Hazel Lodge X^o. 217: A^ictor Lodge X'o. 353; Uni- 
form Rank X^o. 105 ; Pythian Sisters. 

United Mine Workers of America, in which all the fifteen mines about 
the city are represented. 

Masonic, Jerusalem Lodge Xo. 99; Royal Arch [Masons, Chapter X^o. 
125; Knights Templar, Commandery Xo. 48; Order of Eastern Star, Chap- 
ter No. 254. 

Modern Woodmen of America, Camp Xo. 3105. 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, LTnity Lodge XTo. 827 : Clinton En- 
campment X"o. 143; Vermillion Rebekah Lodge X^o. 82. 

Owls, Lodge X^o. 1199. 

Improved Order of Red Men, AVaukeena Tribe X'o. 175. 


Clinton was incorporated about 1S48-49. by special act of the Legisla- 
ture, which empowered the trustees to prohibit the sale of intoxicating 
liquors. In about 1879 the place was incorporated under the general laws 
of the state, and was di\-idcd into five wards, from each of which there was 
elected one trustee, the term of office Ijeing for two years. The president 
was elected bv the board and the members by the people. The records of 
the place ha\e not been preserved complete, but such as have been kept in- 
tact show that the officers between 1880 and 1887 were as follows: Presi- 
dents— Xeil J. AIcDougall, 1880-84: Decatur Downing. 1883: AA'. L. Morey, 
1886-87. Clerks— D. C. Johnson. 1880: L. O. Bishop. 1881 : Decatur Down- 


ing, 1882: J. M. Hays. 1883-84: Ed. H. Johnson, 1885-87. Other officers 
to the present liave been as follows: Tlie city was made a fifth-class city in 
1895 and the mayors have been William G. Merrill, 1895: N. C. Anderson, 
1896-98: C. M. White, 1898-02: D. C. Johnson, 1902-06: C. E. Lowery, 
1906-10: H. M. Ferguson, 1910-11: M. M. Scott, 191 1: M. J. Tucker, 
191 1 and present incumbent. Mayor Ferguson resigned October 16, 191 1, 
and was followed by Scott, who resigned November 20, 1911. 

The city officials in 1912 are: Mayor, Morgan J. Tucker: clerk, T. L. 
McDonald: treasurer, Arthur B. Roherts: attorney. John 'A. \\'iltermood : 
hoard of health, Drs. W. D. (lerrish. C. \A'. .\sh'ey, Ivan Scott: aldermen, 
first ward, Louis Antoninnie : second w ard, James P. Tutwiler : third ward, 
William T. Reid : fourth ward. Lawrence W. Vogel : at-large. John R. Paine 
and H. S. Pinson: chief of police. W. D. A'anness: police. \V. S. A'anhousen. 
James Buffo, A. M. Clark. Da\-id Bowser, Raphael Bunde. 

The fire department consists of a \olunteer company of aljout twenty 
men. with a chief and a driver of the city team: the former is now Carl 
Balmer and the latter (the onl\- salaried man) is T. B, Hupp. The company 
is said to be one of the most efficient in all Indiana. The city owns a fine 
fire-fi.tjhting ajiparatus. 

The board of education at present (1912) is: President. Dr. D. C. 
Schaff: secretary, Harmon K. Morgan: treasurer, Frank Slater: superinten- 
dent of schools. Prof. E. E. Oberholtzer. 

The city has a fine public library, the gift of Andrew Carnegie, which 
building was completed in 1909. at a of thirteen thousand dollars. This 
librar}- is held jointly l)y the city and Clinton township and a tax is le\ied 
for the purchase of books annuallw The jiresent board consists of : l^'esi- 
dent, H. ^L Ferguson: secretary. J. \\". Strain: H. T. Harger. Roy Slater. 
Valzah Reeder, H. S. Pinson, Mrs. F. L. Swinehart. Miss Callie MclMechen, 
Miss Bessie Vandyne. The librarian is Miss Faye Tillotson. The shelves 
of this new library are not well supplied with standard books, not even 
many of the state and United States government reports, but as time goes on 
doubtless the board will see to it that such works are added to the library, 
which now is really largely of interest to the school children and readers of 
fiction and the standard papers and periodicals. About $1,800 is raised an- 
nually by taxation for the purchase of books. The coming vear it is ex- 
pected the levy will furnish $2,800 for the extension of the library book 
stock. In December, 191 2. there were 3,263 books on the shelves. The 
librai'v was established in 1908 under the act of 1901-03. 



Up to about IQ04 Clinton had no system of water works, Imt in that 
year the present system was installed. Wells were sunk to the gravel, in 
pure, living water, in the vicinity of the plant, which is near the heart of 
the business portion of the city and near the bank of the Wabash river. 
Bonds were floated in order to secure means with which to build the works, 
the cost to date being about $73,520. The plant was ]nit in in 1910 under 
the direction of Superintendent W. M. Hamilton, who is still in charge. 
The total number of miles of water mains in the city now is thirteen. The 
plant was greatly enlarged in 1910 and is now supposed to be sufficient for 
a city of twenty-five thousand population. The quality of water is second 
to none in the state. There are now thirteen wells, ranging in depth from 
sixty to seventy-five feet, going fifty feet below the waters of the \\'abash 
river, terminating in white gravel and sand, making a fine natural filter. The 
daily capacity of this system is two and one-quarter million gallons. There 
are now ninety-two fire plugs or street hydrants, anfl in December, iqij, 
there were nine hundred customers. A\'ater is sold both by meter and flat 
rate, .the rates ranging from fifteen to thirt}" cents per thousand cubic feet. 
Three huge pumps are installed at the plant, but usualh- one is sufficient. In 
case of fire, another is set in motion and a pressure of one hundred pounds 
per square inch is realized in the business portion of the city. One of the 
mains extends about one mile oiit from the pumping plant. The present 
officers of the water works are the water committee of the city, with Will- 
iam Hamilton as superintendent, with Leslie Galloway and Jesse C. Patch 
as engineers, one for day and one for night. 


While not a part of the municipal ini])ro\enients, the electric lighting 
system in Clinton is here given. It is a prixate cor]:)oration, which organ- 
ized and commenced operations in the summer of 189 1, the turning on of 
the current being on July ist of that year, and on the Fourth of July it was 
a feature of the city's Independence day celebration. It is known as (he 
Clinton Electric Light and Power Company. Its first directors were J. E. 
Knowles. Daniel McBeth, B. H. Morgan, W. L. Morey. ^^■. H. Bonner. J. 
W. Robb, secretary and manager, who has served in this capacity since then 
with a few years interim, and constantly since 1905. .\t simply an 
arc system was installed, but in 1892 the incandescent system was put in 


operation. The plant is located on \'ine street, near the water works plant 
of the city, close to the railroa<l and river front. They now furnish power 
to al! the factories and mills in the city, save two newspapers, even furnish- 
ini^- the power for the roller mills and refrigerating plant. It is all home 
capital and is a financial success. The plant has three immense Corliss 
engines and three dynamos, though l)ut one usually is employed, the others 
Iseing for emergencv and power extension when needed. The present presi- 
dent of the company is David :\IcBeth: vice-president, ^ilark Xebeker, and 
}. \\'. Robb is secretary and manager; the other director is B. H. Morgan. 


_\mong the experiences of the people of Clinton, in years gone by, the 
following mav be of interest to the present-day and future generations : 

Here, as elsewhere in Indiana, the liquor question has ever been a thorn 
in the side of respectable citizens. Here has been fought many a hard con- 
test between temperance and anti-temperance people. The saloon is still 
here and \\ill likely exist until some state or national law wipes the business 
from the face of the commonwealth. One of the most remarkable move- 
ments along this line, in modern da_\'s. was the "AVoman's Crusade" of 1874- 
76. In 1874 a band of praying women laid siege tO' a saloon, day and night, 
being on duty in divisions, by turns. The proprietor finally surrendered. In 
.\pril, 1875, a company of ladies, headed Ijy ?\lrs. ^lalone and Mrs. Kibby, 
marched in double file to the saloon owned by Tice & Melcher. to hold an 
interx'iew with the proprietors : but on arrival found the fort e\acuated and 
the doors wide open. The ladies guarded the place until evening and then 
retired. The next night one of the proprietors was arrested, and while he 
was in custody the citizens gathered at the point of contest and demolished 
everything that contained intoxicating liquors. The proprietor then sued 
fifteen of the citizens for $5,000 damages, but the case vas comjiromised or 
dismissed. Other events of this crusade occurred, but of minor importance. 

There are now numerous saloons doing business under a license sys- 
tem, while the work of the temperance press and pulpit, of temperance so- 
cieties, including the Christian Temjierance L'nions, goes braxely on, with 
the hope of making public opinion in the state and county strong enough 
in the near future to fore\er do a\va\- with drinkin"- vjlaces in the citv. 



What was st\-led the Clinton Natural Gas Conipan_\- was organized in 
the spring- of 1887, with a capital of from two to four thousand dollars. The 
jircsident was C. Mathews ; secretary, W. H. Hamilton ; treasurer, N. C. 
Anderson. The other directors were J. J. Higgins, Decatur Downing, J. E. 
Knowles, C. B. Knowles, and W. A. Hays. Drilling followed, but the word 
failure was finally stamped on their laudable efforts. 




Xewport, the seat of justice for Vermillion county, Indiana, was platted, 
or recorded as a "xillage," July 28, 1828, and re-platted and corrected up 
for permanent record, March 8, 1837. by S. S. Collett; its location is in 
section 2(1. township 17, range y west. 

The first dry goods store opened here w as l:)y Daniel E. Jones, whose 
entire stock could ha\e easih- l>een carried on a wagon. This business was 
estal>]i,she(I in this manner: Jones was ship]Mng hogs, some of which died. 
These were rendered into soap, which was sold for goods. Later, Air. Jones 
became a wealthy man, went to Chicago, where he became a millionaire, 
and died in that city. 

The first good residence in Xewport was a building north of where the 
.Methodist Ejjiscopal chuixh was erected. For tnany years the trees of this 
town were noted for their lieauty and size. .\ number of locust trees w'ere 
l)!anted in jS.^j and in 1887 had grown to measure o\-er two feet in diam- 
eter, while one apple tree had grown to the unusual size of o\'er three feet 
in diameter. 

Xewport was incorporated as a town early in the spring of 1870. The 
records show that the first officers were: ^^■illiam E. Livengood, president 
of the board; Clark Leavitt, Benjamin K. Dicken and E. Y. Jackson; J. A. 
Souders. clerk. Other presidents have been : E. Y. Jackson, James A. Bell, 
E. ^\. Bishop. S. H. Dallas, James A. Foland, ^^'iliiam P. Henson. Oliver 
Knight. James Plasty. Robert Landon, Cabin Arrasmith. Robert E. Sears, 
Jolui W. Cross. Passing down to the present time the officers are: Presi- 
dent. 1. M. Casebeer: other members of the board, \\'illiam Ashton, Her- 
bert C, Sawyer and John .\. Darby; clerk, Clarence Magers ; marshal, 
Alathew^ C. ,\shcraft; treasm-er, Robert .\. \\'iltermood ; A^'i]liam C. Wait, 

Three attempts have been made to dissolve the incorporation of X^ew- 
port. but all f.ailcd. The last was in 1877, when the question was jnit to the 
\-oters and li\ a majority of nineteen it was decided to hold the incorpora- 
tion. The town is still without a system of water works, but is furnished 
(under a ten-vear contract) from Cayuga with a good electric lighting sys- 
tem. The town hall is leased. 


Going back many )ears, the town was noted tor its milling interests. 
An old mill stood on Market street, called the Enreka [Mills, run liy steanL 
It was built b}' James A. Rell. who sold to Curtis & \Miite. who in turn 
sold to B. J. Abbott, and while in the possession of the latter, Januar}- 26, 
i88j, it was burned, by a careless act of an employe, and was never rebuilt. 
The loss was estimated at three thousand five hundred dollars. 

The chief industry is now the extensive tile works of \Mlliam Dee, a 
Chicago cai)italist, wdio has a series of plants for clay-working in this and 
Parke count}-. These works run day and night, the year around. 

The banking interests have been already noticed in another chapter. 
The newspapers of Newport will be found in the Press chapter, and the 
churches and schools in other cha])ters. 

On the night of May 5. 1884. the Newport postoffice was robbed of 
three hundred and fifty dollars, the safe being blown open. The l)urglars 
were frightened away by the passing of a young man in the \icinity before 
the\- obtained all that they had intended to. These tin'exes were ne\er cap- 

Tlie town is built in a pleasing style, and many good residences are 
seen here and there. The site is an ideal one, and has a beautiful natural 
landscape surrounding it. The Chicago & Eastern Illinois railr()a<l runs 
north and south, through the eastern jiart of the platting, about one mile 
from the court house and lousiness section. The business houses are liuilt 
largely around the four sides of the court house scpiare. 

While the saloon business is no longer a great menace to New])ort. in 
times past it was an "eye-sore" to the better element, and man\- wrangles 
grew out of the ]i(|uor (|ucstion. The town, in icjoh, had its last 

The ])opulation of Newport in 1912 was 732. 


Newport has had her own share of trouljle over the liquor traffic, and 
the usual number of crusades and temperance societies and great temper- 
ance re\-ivals. This ^vas a ^-exatious question back before the Civil war 
period, when whisky was supposed to be better in grade than since I'ncle 
Sam exacted a large re\'enuc. Rut passing o\er tliese earlv trials, we come 
down to a time of wdiich many now rcmenil)er the circumstances and cx'ents, 
in attempting to make New])ort a "'dr)'" town. First the then popular Or- 
der of Good Templars was set on working basis at the place in 1868. with a 


traveling Methodist minister, Rev. J. E. Wright, as president, Betsy Griffin, 
Joseph Hopkins. Benjamin Carter, Ivy A. Astor, Sally Canady, John Wig- 
ley, Rebecca Huff and Joseph Cheadle. The lodge has long since been dis- 

The next movement was the tidal wave of the "Woman's Crusade" in 
1874, lia\ing its birth in Ohio, and which struck Newport in 1874, with 
great force. Meetings were held in the churches, speeches made, and a 
committee appointed to wait upon the two saloon keepers of the county 
seat, who soon closed their dram shops and signed a pledge not to again 
0])en in Newport. The drug firm of William M. and William L. Triplett 
( father and son ) refused to sign the pledge, offering one in its stead al- 
lowing them to sell liquor for medicinal, mechanical and sacramental pur- 
poses. They were publicly charged, in a set of formal resolutions, with 
selling liquor at wholesale for drinking purposes, but the}- denied the charge. 
The controversy was long and bitter, but they held their ground. Later the 
father died and the son removed from the communit)-. 

In December, 1874, a woman from the country, becoming enraged at her 
husband's way of spending his time and money in the saloon, made a general 
scatterment among the inmates of the saloon, which she entered boldly, and 
as a result her husband A\as made to walk straight to his home. 

In 1877 that great temperance reformer, Francis Murphy, and his blue- 
ribbon movement came to Newport like a cyclone. More than three hun- 
dred men signed the pledge in two nights' time. Again in 1879 came the 
red-riblx)n movement of Tyler Mason, which proved still greater in its effect. 

At one time Newix)rt had a very strong ^^^oman's Christian Tem])er- 
ance Union and edited a department in the Hoosicr State. Leading mem- 
bers were Mrs. Zachariah Thornton. ^Nlrs. Ramsey, Mrs. Ervin Lamb, Mrs. 
Sears and others whose good work was not in vain. Eift^• ladies in all were 
thus associated at Newport. Perrysville Woman's Christian Temperance 
Union was also associated with these ladies. 

nr.sixi-:ss i.xriCRESTS of iqij. 

Attorney.s — Hugh 11. Conley, W". I'.ert Conley. Martin C. Rhoads, E. E. 

Xeel, Homer B. .\ikman, Charles X. Iniltz, U'illiam C. Wait, Forest 

W. Ingram, Herman 1. Calloway. 
Abstractors — E. E. Neel. 

Banks — R. H. Ni.xon & Co.'s Bank (private). Citizens State Bank. 
Barber Shops — ^John H. Nichols, James W. Thomas. 


Blacksmiths — John .\. Darby, James C. Garrigus. 

Billiards and Pool— White & Nichols. 

Clothing and Furnishing Goods — Henry Watson. 

Confectioner}- and Fruits — -Louis Coil. 

Cement \\'orks — John G. j^.lyers and Searing M. Robbins, of the firm of 
Robbins & Myers. 

Coal, Wood and Props — William H. Wiltermood. 

Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railway Agent — Ralph B. Hollingsworth. 

Citizens Mutual Telephone Company — H. V. Nixon, president; James W. 
Thomas, secretary : Adva Julian, electrician. 

Dry Goods — E. R. Stephens, John T. Simpson, Ordie E. Pritchard. 

Dray Line — Ottie White. 

Furniture and Undertaking — Sam D. Chipps. 

Groceries — E. R. Stephens, Benton Nichols (witli bakery). White & 
Hughes, John T. Simpson. 

Grain — William M. Prillaman. 

Garage — "Newport Hill Garage," H. T. Payne and Ralph V. Hughes, pro- 
prietors: Byron Hamblen, mechanician. 

Harness— L. J. Place & Son. 

Hotel— -The Hart." by Robert A. Hart. 

Hardware and Implements — L. J. Place & Son, Maurice Hegarty. 

Jeweler — Le\i P. Be^■er. 

Lumber — Greer- Wi'kinson I,uml)er Company. 

Lixery — L. J. Place. 

Music- -Zachariah T. Galloway. 

Millinery— .Mice M. Nichols. 

Meat :\Iarket — J. S. ]\IcCormick. 

Newspaper — Tlw Hoosicr State, S. B. Davis & Son, publishers. Bird H. 
Davis, editor. 

Physicians— Drs. I. M. Casebeer, M. L. Hall. 

Restaurants — Elmer Bush, Wiltermood Bros. (R. A. and George). 

Shetland Pony Farm — L. J. Place. 

Saw-mill — Charles T. Evans. 

Shoe Rejiair and Custom Work — John D. Brown. 

The B. .\. W'. (iasoline Light Manufacturing Ccimpany — Benjamin A. Wil- 

Transfer Line — Andrew J. Wise. 

Tile Works— William E. Dee Clay Works. 

Theater — "Idle Hour Moving Pictures" — Elbert S. Nichols. 



Clinton tDwnsliip. named ii 
ernor of Xew York state, is the 
It contains forty-two s(H!are mil 
with ]oerspna' property \'ahie(l, ii 

honor of l)e Witt Clinton, a former g'ov- 
southern sub-di\-ision in \'erniillion county. 
■s, and in 1880 had a population of 3.000, 

1882, at $643,675. Its population in 19 10 

was (including the city) 9.341. with an assessed valuation in city and town- 
ship airounting to $3,842,335. 

John Vannest. the first settler in this county, located in section 9. of 
this township, in iSif). See an account of his settlement in the general 
chapter on "Early Settlement." The next to enter Clinton township was 
John Heard, who located ;ni(l l)uill the first house in what is now the city of 
Clinton, and in either iSk; or i Sjo ])uilt what was later styled Patton's mill, 
three and a half miles southwest of Clinton, the same fieing \'erniillion 
county's first mill, Mr. Beard was also an early justice of the peace. 

In 1818 came William Hamilton, who had sons. John and William, who 
lived nian\- years in the county, W^illiam dying about 1878. The parents of 
X^elson Reeder came from Ohio and settled here in 1818. 

Judge Porter, of X^ew York state, settled here in 1819. His son Charles 
was horn in 1816. was a good and useful citizen, hut finally ended his own life 
l)y suicide. John J. Alartin. who died in a1)out 1884. was in his second ^•ear 
when his parents moved to Clinton township in 1819. The same \'ear Daniel 
McCulloch, born in York state in 1797, settled in Clinton township, this 
county, on a farm five miles southwest of Clinton. His son, W. B. ^NlcCulloch. 
was l)orn here in 1830. 

It was in 1820 when the ])arents of John Wright. Sr.. emigrated with 
him from Xew York to Clinton township. George Wright came in 1832. ;md 
died many years ago. 

Major Ciiunn, a regular army officer, came here from Terre Ihuile some 
time |!re\ious to 1820, and was an efficient soldier in driving the Indians 
away from this settlement. Me also particip.ited in the battle of Tipjiecanoe. 
under (!eneral Harrison, on Xo\embcr 7. 181 1, lie was nian\- vcars one of 
the justices of the peace in Clinton to\\nslii|i. ||is son. Thomas, was many 
\ears an honored citizen here. 


J(.)hn Cldver, from Ohio, located in Clinton township in 1821, with hi& 
son. Josepha -\. Clover. Joshua Dean, a native of \'irginia. horn in 1801, 
settled in this township in 182 J, and died ahout 1877. The Andrews family, 
including several sons, located here in 1822. Henry and Eli Shew, natives 
of North Carolina, were mere boys when they located as residents of Clinton 
township. Tlie former was born in 181 5 and came here in 1825. and the 
latter, liorn in 1819. was l)rought here in 1823. 

Capt. William Swan was born in Pennsylvania in 1802. settled in Clin- 
ton township, this county, in 1823. was a member of the first jury in X'ermil- 
lion county and followed the ri\er, making over sixty trips to Xew Orleans 
on l)oth rafts and flat-boats. He was a Uni\'ersalist in his religious lielief, 
and a Freemason. He died at Clinton, January 29. 1887. 

Washington Potter, who was still- living in 1887, was eight years old in 

1823, when he was brought to this township from Ohio. He was a carpenter 
by trade. 

Silas Dax'is, a cooper an<l farmer, was born in 18 18, and came to this 
township in 1823. The parents of \\'illiam and Israel Wood came liere in 

1824. The same year came John \\'. Hedges. His son. Dr. I. B. Hedges, was. 
horn Octolier 30, 1819, died February 24, 1883, and was buried in the Clin- 
ton cemetery. It was also in 1824 when the father of Walter G. Crabl), l)orn 
in Fayette county. Ohio, came here to reside. In 1827 caine James 11. Allen, 
born in Ohio in 1822. 

John Payton, an early merchant in Clinton, born in Ohio in 18 18. came 
here in 1828. The same year came James Clark, Sr., from Ohio, where he was 
born in 1798. He became a sturdy farmer a mile and a half west of Clinton. 

Samuel Dax'idson, deceased man}' years since, was born in (^hi(j in 1817, 
and settled in this township in 1830. Martin X. Da\-idsi)n was liurn in Ohio 
in 1829, was brought here in 1832. lived here many years and was a resident 
of Terre Haute for many _\-ears later in his life. 

George ^^^ Edwards, of Clinton, was Ijiirn in Indiana in 1827. and be- 
came a resident here in 1830. Andrew Reed, a nati\-e of X^orth Carohna. 
settled here in 1830. Thomas Kilibv. born in this state in 18 ro, came to Clin- 
ton township in 1830. 

Benjamin R. Whitcomb. born in A'ermont in 1798, and his cousin and 
business partner, John Whitcomb. came in 1828, settling in the \-illage of 
Clinton, where the}' were among the pioneer merchants, pork packers, etc. 
John died in August, 1830. aged forty-one years. Benjamin R. died .\pril 2_^. 
1 8^1 1, and his wife, Anna S.. died ]\Iav 21, r86o. 

John R. Whitcoml). another merchant, born in Ohio in 1804. first settlefl 


in Edgar county, Illinois, in 1832, and in the village of Clinton in 1834. He 
died in March. 1873. 

Scott Malone, who married Sarah, one of the twin daughters of pioneer 
John A'annest. came in from Ohio and resided here until his death, in the 

Simenn Tavlor, a native of Indiana, born in 1818, settled in this county 
in 1831, and died in the eighties. John F., his brother, born in Ohio, re.sided 
here and sur\ived him. 

In 1832 there settled in Clinton township Thomas G. Wil.son, born in 
.Virginia in 1804: William J. Noblitt, born in Tennessee in 1825: Benjamin 
Harrison, bom in ^"irginia in 1805. was a justice of the peace many years 
and was still living here in 1887. 

Robert H. and Adaline (West) Nichols located in Clinton township in 
1835. He died here in 1872. aged fifty-five years, and she in 1874. aged 
sixty-five years. 

Hiram B. Cole, John h'erral and John Marks were early Clinton mer- 
chants. The latter moved South. b\^rral died February 23, 1832, aged thirty- 
si. \ years. 

In 1836 came William Pay ton and Philo Harkness. Payton was Iwrn in 
Kentuck}- in 1814, and Harkness in New York in 1816. In 1837 came Reuben 
Propst. and the next year Isaac Propst, natives of Virginia, but finally re- 
moved from this county, .\cquilla Nebeker, born in Delaware in 1815, lo- 
cated in Clinton township in ^<^T,y. He was a liberal-minded citizen and a 
very considerate, kind neighbor. He died in 1880. Jesse Spangler, a native 
of Pennsylvania, born in 1807, settled here in 1837, and died here about 1881. 
D. F. Fawcett came in from Virginia in. 1833, settling near Coshen, Vigo 
countv, and then in 1837, in this county, near the southwest corner. He died 
in 1843 in Jas]3er count}', Illinois. 

From the above date on, the .settlers came in so rapidly that it is im|)ossi- 
ble to trace their comings and goings, but they included many of Clinton 
township's best citizens. 

\ former hi.story of A'ermillion county mentions, in 1887, tlie fact of 
there being three or four saw-mills in Clinton township, besides the two lo- 
cated at Clinton. Also that one of the largest agricultural interests in the 
township, at that date, was the extensive stock farm of Claude Mathews at 
Hazel Blufif, on Brouillet's creek, some three miles from Clinton. 

Of the churches and schools of Clinton township, the general chapters 
on these topics v iU trca' in dctnil. AImt llic .'>rcat coal mining interests form 


a special cliapter, hence w ill not be mentioned in this township history. This 
•is the civil township in which is situated the city of Clinton, the largest place 
in the county, whose separate history appears in another chapter. 

Another town of the township of Clinton is Fairview Park, adjoining the 
city of Clinton, platted in 1902 and is a separate incorporation. It has a popu- 
lation of about seven hundred, and has numerous stores and shops, with many 
residences, schools and churches. 



This township is the second from the north Hne of the county, and is 
bounded on the east by Parke county, the Wabash ri\er being the dividing 
hne; on the south is Vermillion township, on the west is the state of Illinois, 
and on the north is Highland township. In this portion of \'erniillion county, 
more than at any other point, were the Indian villages, laattlefields and first 
trading posts, as well as the first settlements by white men. \Miile it is true 
that John Vannest settled the county first in Clinton township, the settlement 
in Eugene was much more rapid than in other parts of the cmmty. Eugene 
township contains thirt}--three square miles, and in 1880 had a population of 
1,340, with personal property valued at $681,000. In 1910 the population 
was, including Cayuga, 2,112. In 191 1 the assessed valuation of both per- 
sonal and real property in this township was $1,376,085, exclusi\-e of New- 
port, which had $402,720. 

In 1869 Prof. John Collett discoNcred. in a mound near l^ugene, a small 
coin upon which was an untranslatable inscription, in characters closel_\- re- 
sembling Arabic. This mound was covered with full-grown forest trees. 

Early settlers near Eugene village found an ax imbedded in the heart 
of an oak tree, with one hundred and twenty-five rings about it, thus indi- 
cating that the implement hadjieen left there as early as 1712, or more than 
two hundred years ago. It was probably left there b}- the French people, 
possibly a missionary. It is true that different kinds of timber, growing in 
different soils, may vary in the years noted by the ''timber rings," but this ax 
was evidently placed there long before the Revolutionarv struggle. 

The following rare exhibition nf animal nature occurred in this town- 
ship: One evening about sundown in April, 1868. as "'Eel" Vickers, who 
lived about four miles northwest of Eugene \illage, was returning home from 
a house-raising, he was suddenly alarmed by the scream of a Jvnx, wliich he 
soon discovered was in pursuit of him. Being unarmed, he dared not give 
battle, and began to run homeward with all his might. Of course the beast 
could easily enough have overtaken Vickers at a bound or two, whenever it 
desired, but such is feline nature that it occasionally rested a moment and 


screamed most terrificall}'. When \"ickers a]iproacheil liis liouse tlie animal 
lumped around in front of him. to intercept his passa.ii^e to the house; l)ut at 
this critical moment, the dogs arrived and chased it awaw Its previous yelp- 
ing had alarmed them and brought tliem out just in time, hut not a second too 


It was in Eugene township that the Groenendykes, Thompsons, Porters, 
Armours, Colletts, Hepburns, Colemans, Malones, Xa_\dors, Shelbys and oth- 
ers effected a settlement. ^Nlany of these worthy pioneers left numerous 
descendants who became and are still residents and influential citizens of 
Vermillion county. 

The first mill in this county was that erected in Clinton township Ijy 
John Beard, either in 1819 or 1820. Ho\ve\-er, that was a small affair com- 
pared to the one built in this township by John Groenendyke, about the same 
date, on Big Vermillion river, at the point in the northern portion of Eugene 
township where the village of Eugene was laid out. This was for many years 
the best and largest mill in A'ermillion county. 

The following is an incomplete chronological list of pioneers who made 
their way to Eugene township between 1816 and 1840: 

1816 — Noah Hubbard, with a wife and a large family of children. After 
residing here many years he became a Mormon and went to ^Missouri, to join 
his people, then to Nauvoo. Illinois, remaining with them until the}- were 
driven away by the Gentiles, about 1847. ^vhen he returned to this county and 
began ])reaching that peculiar doctrine. Rejoining the ]\Iormons in the colon}' 
at Council BlufYs, Iowa, he died there. 

1 81 8 — Isaac Coleman settled three miles south of Eugene,_ on the prairie 
since known as Coleman's prairie. Judge J. M. Coleman came to the township 
a year later, from Virginia, settling on section 16, township 17. range 9 west, 
and was long and intimately associated with the Collett families. He had 
aided in laying out the city of Indianapolis, and also Terre Haute, w here he 
also Iniilt the old court house. In this county he was one of the first grand 
jurymen, and an associate judge. Subsequentl}'. he remo\'e(l to Iowa City, 
Iowa, where he built the State House, diefl and was buried there. The same 
}'ear ( 1818) came Major Jan-ies Blair, wIkt settled on the northeast ([uarter 
of section 16. townshi]3 17, range 9 west, and at his cabin on this ])lace was 
held the first term of court in \'ermillion count}'. He had been a sharp- 
shooter on Lake Erie, under Commodore T'err\', in the war of 1812. when he 
was detailed to shoot at the Indians in the rigging of the British war vessels: 


l)iit at the very first fire of Perry's artillery the Indians were so frightened 
that they hastilv "scuttled" down into the hold, and there were no Indians for 
Blair to do his duty upon. As his vessel sailed past the British man-of-war he 
could see the glittering tin canisters down through the muzzles of their guns. 
For his faithful services Mr. Blair received a medal from the American gov- 
ernment. On one occasion, after he became a resident of Vermillion county, he 
was a candidate for the Legislature. He attended a shooting match, in which 
he participated, and aimed so well that every man present voted for him at the 
ensuing election ! On still another occasion he played an amusing trick upon 
the simple-minded pioneers and Indians, in the settlement of a controxersy 
between them. Blair married a daughter of Judge Coleman, resided for a 
time on Coleman's prairie, then moved up the river and founded Perrysville. 
which place he named in honor of his brave commander. Commodore Oliver 
H. Perry, remaining there until his death. Both Blair and Coleman had an 
intimate ac(|uaintance with the Indians and lived in friendship with them for 
a number of }ears. It frequently fell to their lot to act as peacemaker be- 
tween the Indians and what were termed "border rufiians," wjio were much 
the worse of the two. These two pioneers always spoke in the highest terms 
of Se-Seep, the last chief who lived in the vicinity, who it is said was one 
hundred and ten years of age. when he was foully murdered by a renegade 
Indian of his own tribe. Like the fading autumn leaves, the Indians of these 
forests of \"ermillion county died away. The guns and dogs of the white 
man frightened aw ay the game from their hunting grounds, or destroyed it. 
and the \irtue of a dire necessity called upon them to emigrate, to make room 
for the ax and the plow, the cabin and the log school house of the incoming 
white race. 

181Q — John Croenendyke came in from near Cavuga counl\-, Xew ^'ork. 
first to Terre Haute in 181 8 and the next year to this countv, settling on the 
Big Vermillion river where Eugene now stands. He was the father of James 
— who built the "Big ^"ermillion," the first large grist-mill in the countv al- 
ready referred to — and Samuel, and the grandfather of Hon. John Groenen- 
dyke and his cousin Samuel, and also the grandfather of the later generations 
of Colletts. The name was originally Van Groenendyke, which the old-time 
express agent at Eugene further abbreviated to Grondyke, a word of two 
syllables, the first being pronounced "groan.'' The first family of this line 
came to .\nierica from Holland with the Knickerbockers in 1617, settling in 
Xew .\msterdam (New York). 

i8ji — James .\rmour settled here soon after INlr. Groenendvke. and as- 
sisted in Inu'ldingthe pioneer mill: he removed to Illinois about 1877. Alexan- 


iler Arrasiiiith. Ijorn in I\entuck\- in 1795, emigrated to Snllixan count}'. In- 
diana, in I Si 8, and in either i8ji or 1824 came to Vermillion county. He 
died at hi.s home, two and a half miles south of Eugene, January 15, 1875, 
having been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church for forty-odd years. 
He was the father of Richard Arrasmith, born in SulliAan county, 1818, and 
of Thomas Arrasmith, a wagon-maker at Newport at an earl\- day. 

1822 — William Thompson, father of James, John and .\ndrew. and of 
Mrs. Jane Shelby, from Pennsylvania, settled near the big spring a mile 
south from Eugene. Their descendants were frugal, industrious people and 
hence accumulated a large amount of property. The same \ ear came in Benja- 
min Shaw, from Vigo county, but originally from Kentucky, and settled near 
Eugene, and afterward on the Little Vermillion, five miles west from New- 
port, where he died over three-quarters of a century ago. He was the father of 
ten children, three of whom survi\ed their mother. Andrew Tipton came to 
this township in 1822 from Kentucky, where he was born in 1800. He re- 
mained here until his death. J. ^^'. Tipton, of Ohio, settled on the \^'abash 

1823 — Lewis Jones located here al:)out 1823, and died after the Ci\'i! 
war. J. A. Jones, born in 1821, \A-as brought to this townshii) in 1823. 

1824 — Jones Lindsey, born in Ohio, in 1818, came here in 1824. The 
next \'ear there arrixed 0]i\er Tjuilslew ])orn in Ohio in 1807. Judge Rezin 
Slielln-, \\ho liecame \ery wcalthw died here many }-ears since. 

1825 — The ]iarents of James Sheward, who was born this )ear. Kzekiel 
She ward about 1870 in the township. 

1826 — ^^"i]liam Fultz, Sr., born in Pennsyl\-ania in 1803. with his wife 
Nancy, came to Eugene township this year, locating on Sand Prairie. The\' 
had thirteen children. The ]>arents of Joseph Holtz. who was born in Ohio 
in 1822, came to the county in this year. John Holtz, who was bom in Ohio, 
the same year, settled here in 1834. 

1827 — Samuel ^^^ ^Falone, born in Ohio in 1810, came to Helt town- 
ship, this count}', in 1824. and to Eugene township in ii>2j: he conducted a 
liotel for a number of years. M. \\'. Newman, born in A'irginia in 181 1, was 
.still a resident of in 1887. Martin Patrick came some time 
before 1827. Hiram Patrick was born here in 1829, and William Patrick, in 
1831, lived here many years, then moved to Missouri. About this date came 
also John Ross, born in Ohio in 1829. and brought here the same year. 

1828 — Ignatius Sollars, who died in June, 1833. Nancy, wife of Tru- 
man Sollars, died September 15, 1869, aged and a half years. Mat- 
thew Cole, born in Ohio in 1824. was brought to this county in 1828, as was 


also Jesse Smith, from Tennessee, the year of his birth. Tlie same year came 
also \\'. L. Xaylor, and the next year Lewis T. Xaxlor. who still resided here 
in the latter eighties. Both were born in Ohio, W. L. in 1821 and Lewis T. 
in 1826. Benjamin Naylor, another old resident, was born in 1826. Jacob 
lies, who died forty years or more ago, was the father of James B. lies, liorn 
in 1829, and Jacob H., born in 1833, both natives of this county. 

1829 — John Hepburn. Sr., who \> as born in A'irginia, died here about 
1880. John Hepburn, Jr.. was a nati\'e of \'ermillion county, this state. 
William Hepburn was born in Ohio in 1823, and was larought here in 1829. 
Enoch \\'. Lane, liorn in Ohio in 1798, died here before 1850. 

1830 — John Sims, born in Virginia in 1808, lived a mile and a half south 
of Eugene many years. "Crate"' Sims, his son, was born in Virginia the same 
year. Charles S. Little, from \^irginia, located near Eugene in 1830, and died 
in 1852, aged sixty-three years. His wife, whose maiden name was Rachel 
Moore, died, aged eighty years, southwest of Newport, in 1881. Rew Enoch 
Kingsbur\' came from Massachusetts to Eugene aljout 1830, and organized 
the Presbyterian church. His wife, Fanny C, taught scliool there for a 
number of terms. Their eldest .son, James G. Kingsbury, one of the editors 
and publisliers of the Indiana Farmer at Indianapolis, was born at the resi- 
dence of Dr. .\sa R. I''almer. two miles north of Eugene village, in 1832. The 
same year the family removed to Danville, Illinois, where Mr. Kingsbury 
organized a church and preached there many years. He also acted in the 
ca])acity of a home missionary, preaching in neighboring counties Ijoth in 
Indiana and Illinois, till the close of his life in 1868. 

1831 — Harrison .X'derson, who died at a \'erv earlv da\' here, came that 
year to this township. 

1832 — Philo and IslWo Hosford, twins, liorn in Xew ^'nrk in t8] i. Milo 
died in January. 1880, after having spent a most useful and excellent life in 
this county. He was many years in the employ of Samuel Gronendyke. 
Joseph Wigley, this year, came to Eugene township. 

1833 — Isaac A. Brown. Sr.. born in Tennessee in 1816, settled "Brown 
Town," and was still li\ing in the latter ])art of the eighties. He had at one 
time in his life weighed three hundred pounds. 

1834 — John Kheuby. aliout this year, came in from Illinois and settled: 
he was a pioneer in Illinois in 1826. William Reuby was born in this county 
in 1834. J. W. B.oyd was Ixirn in Peunsylwuu'a in 1828. died here in the 

1837— Tlie parents df Edward B. and Joseph \Iolinsnn : father died many 
years since, lulw.ird 11. was born in Indiana in 1830. and losepb in this 


couiitv in 1834. (ioldman M. Hart, laorn in Tennessee in 1809, died in 1886. 
James C. Tutt. l)orn in A^irginia in 1816. removed from Eugene to the south 
part of \'ermilli(in cnunt_\-. 

1839 — Barne\' \'an(le\an(ler, Ijorn in Ilh'uois in 1827, was a resident of 
Eugene in 1888. 

Other pioneers, whose years of arrival are not given, are Zeno W'cirtli 
and Shuhael Garchier, from Xorth Carolina, who settled in \\'alnnt Grove. 
Mr. Worth selected lands which were iieid hy his family many years and still 
largely within the names of his descendants, the generation now numbering 
. fi\'e in this count}-, .\lexander Richardson came that }erir als;). and died in 
Indiana])olis in 18(14. or |)ossil)!y a little later. Lewis Hollingsworth was 
born in this count}- in 1835. On Coleman's prairie settled fanu'lies named 
\A'ilson, Dicken. Hopkins, etc. 

John R. Porter, A. ]\I., circuit judge for n-iau}- years, and an ad\-anced 
farmer between Eugene and Newport, was horn in Pittsfield, Alassachu.setts. 
Februar\- 32. i jgfi. of an "old English family:" graduated at L'nion College. 
Scheuectad}-, Xew "S'ork, in 181 5, taking the first honors of liis c'ass. He 
studierl law. and in 1818 became a partner of his preceptor. About 1820 he 
came to Paoli, Orange count}-, Indiana, wlierc be was count}- clerk. ])ostmaster 
and circuit judge. While there he married Alary \A'orth. Receiving while 
there the aiipointment of president judge of western Indiana, he moved to 
this count}-, settling in Eugene township. His circuit extended from the Ohio 
ri\-er to Lake Michigan. liis term expired in 1837. Llere he was elected 
judge of the court of common pleas for the counties of Parke and A'ermillion, 
which office he held until bis death, about 1850. He was a prominent states- 
man in earl}- days, in la}-ing the foundation of Indiana juris|)rudence. Was a 
close reader of Eastern agricultural papers, and also of ancient classics, as 
well as foreign n-iagazine literature. His conversational ]-)owers were conse- 
quently great, and his letters to the press were gems of eloquence. He was in 
correspondence, more or less, wnth such men as General Harrison. Henrv 
Cla}-. Daniel AVebster, etc., besides many Georgia "colonels." Prominent In- 
diana men were frecpiently his guests. He was the leading spirit in all the 
public n-ieetings in his neighborhood assembled for the deliberation of meas- 
ures of public welfare. He was president of the Logarisiiort con\-ention, 
which gave initial direction to the con.struction of the \A'abash \'allev Railroad. 
.\s an agriculturist he was scientific and in advance of all his neighbor.s — so 
far indeed as often to excite their ridicule. Lie led in the rearing of fine 
wooled sheep, and in the cultivation of Sw-it^er lucerne, ruta-bagas. sugar 
beets, moris. multicaulis, P)aden corn and hemp. These paid him well in 


pleasure derived therefrom, if not in money receipts. The Judge was a broad, 
man\-sided man, the Hkes of whom are seldom met w ith in any generation. 


The towns and \illages uf this township are chiefly Eugene and Cayuga. 
Of Eugene, it may be stated that it was laid out by S. S. CoUett, in 1827, 
about the "Big Vermillion" mills of James Groenendyke. Samuel W. Ma- 
lone, who later became a noted hotel keeper there, located at that point in 
1827. He was^still hale and hearty in 1887. James P. Xaylor, father of 
William L. Naylor, came in the next year. Eugene is Init another example of 
how a railroad may kill or make a town. The Toledo, Chicago & Eastern 
railroad built its line a little to the south of this village and then started up 
Cayuga. In 1887 Eugene had a ])0])ulation of about five hundred people. Its 
present population is placed at four hundred. The follovifing was written of 
this village nearly thirty years ago: "Two or three conspicuous features 
strike the stranger who visits the place. One is a most magnificent row of 
shade trees for a distance of two squares on the west side of the main busi- 
ness street — these are sugar maple. Each tree, with a perfectly symmetrical 
head, covers an area of fort\- feet in diameter. In the western part of the 
village is the most beautiful, perfect large white elm the writer ever saw. 

"The ground on which luigene is situated is just sandy enough to be 
good for gardening and at tlie same time ]:)revent mud in rainy season. \\''ells 
are sunk only eighteen or twenty feet to firid the purest water in a bed of 
graxel. Several large springs are in the vicinity. The river, especially below 
tlie mill dam, afYords the best fishing of all points prol^ablv within a fifty mile 
radius. Fish weighing sixty pounds or more are sometimes caught, and der- 
man carp, one of the planted fisli, weighing eight pounds are occasionally cap- 

"The country here is all underlaid with coal. There is nne vein of nine 
feel with only a seam of ten or twelve inches dividing it." 

(^n the bank of the river here was erected by James Groenendvke some 
time previous to 1824 a water saw and grist-mill, which, with its successors, 
enjoyed the greatest notoriety of all in Vermillion count^-. While Mr. Cole- 
man owned it, more than forty years ago, the dam went out. and in 1885 a 
new mill was erected, it being the third building on the same mill site, two 
lia\ing l)urned. The 1885 mill was a large roller-process plant, managed bv 
Samuel Rowers, 

The first newspa])cr in tlii< ronnt\- had it'; liirth and dentil at Eugene. It 


was the Xcics Letter, by Dr. R. Al. Waterman, and it was established in 1837, 
and l)reat!ieil its last six months later! 

The business interests of this village are not large, in fact the railroads 
and building up of other tow ns has cast a settled gloom over all former hopes 
of greatness. But around this quiet, quaint old country village rests many a 
fond, almost sacred menKiry, to the mind of the pioneers' children and grand- 


Cayuga (or Eugene Station, as it was called many years ago) is at the 
railroad crossing of the north and south and the east and west lines of rail- 
roads in Eugene township (the "Clover Leaf" and the Chicago & Eastern 
Illinois). The census books for 1910 gave it a population of almost one 
thousand people. It was at first named Osonimon, after an Indian chief of 
that name. The place is alive to ever}- worthy business enterprise and its 
people are a whole-souled class, who seem to li\"e "for the hea\-en that smiles 
above them and the good that they can do." 

The Cayuga mills were built in 18S5 by a company consisting of Samuel 
K. Todd, Monroe G. Hosford and Eli H. McDaniel. It was a full roller 
process with a daily capacity of one hundred barrels. It was run b}- a se\'enty- 
horse-power engine. This mill was built in the midst of a wheat field, and was 
a success from the start. 

Of the churches, lodges and schools of Cayuga, the reader is referred to 
other chapters in this volume, on these special topics. 

A Grand Army of the Republic post was organized at Cayuga in 1S76, 
with about twenty-two charter members and later had as high as thirt\--five 
enrolled. , The first post commander was William C. Eichelberger. 

A Good Templar society was formed here in 1S73 and continued until 
1884. It had seventy members. The Red Ribbon movement was introduced 
here by Tyler Mason and the Blue Ribbon movement by George ]\IcDonaM. 
In 1886 a total abstinence society was formed, made up largely of reformed 
drunkards. It was sometimes referred to as the "Reformed Roosters." 

The churches of today in Cax'uga are the Christian, I'nited Bretlu-en. In 
Union, the Presbyterian. The lodges are the Alasonic. Odd Fellows. Knights 
of Pythias, Woodmen of the World and Moose. 

The \illage was made a town l>y act of incorporation in about iNi>i. and 
its i)resent officers are: President of the board, John T. Higgins : the bal- 
ance of the board are S, C. Darroch, J. X. Spinks, Claire ^'■an Duyn. D. P. 
\\'i!liams: town clerk, George T. Ritter: marshal. Charles Prater 
• (26) 


The town is lighted by an electric plant owned by a Chicago capitalist, 
while the telephone service is of home capital. The town has great need of 
water works. The electric light plant here snpplies the county seat, Newport, 
with lights, under a ten-year contract. 

The postofifice safe was blown up l\v dynamite at one-thirty o'clock on 
the morning of April 12, 1890. So hea\-y was the charge that the safe was 
blown to fragments. Window glass was broken in the front of residences 
and business houses. No mone}- was obtained, however, neither any stamps : 
but the midnight thie\-es carried away many valuable papers belonging to the 
postmaster, and also those of Conway & M. W. Cofifin. lawyers. No clue was 
ever had to the parties who blew up the office. 

COLLETT's home for ORPHANS. 

This instit